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Entries Fey-Gor 


General Abbreviations 


Abbreviations used in Rabbinical Literature 


Bibliographical Abbreviations 


Transliteration Rules 



Historiated initial letter "F" of the word 
Fratibus at the beginning of II Macca- 
bees in a 12th-century manuscript from 
France. It illustrates the sending of the 
letter from the Jews of Jerusalem to their 
brethren in Egypt calling on them to ob- 
serve the feast ofHannukah. Bordeaux, 
Bibliotheque Municipale, Ms. 21, fol. 


FEYGENBERG (Imri), RAKHEL (1885-1972), Yiddish and 
Hebrew author, translator, and journalist. Rakhel Feygenberg 
was born in Luban, Minsk Province, Belorussia. She wrote 
about Russian- Jewish life, notably in her books on the 1919 
pogroms, A Pinkesfun a Toyter Shtot ("Record Book of a Dead 
Town," 1926); Oyfdi Bregnfun Dnyester ("On the Shores of the 
Dniester," 1925). ). Her Shomer-influenced Di Kinder-Yohren 
(Dos Naye Leben, 1905; Warsaw, 1910) is an impressive achieve- 

ment for a 20-year old. Her novel Tekhter ("Daughters") was 
serialized in Warsaw's Moment in 1913. She went to Palestine 
in 1924 for the first time, left in 1926, returned and settled in 
1933, and under the name of Rakhel Imri came to write exclu- 
sively in Hebrew. A resident of Tel Aviv, she translated most 
of her Yiddish works into Hebrew, notably her magnum opus, 
Megilot Yehudey Rusya: 1905-1964 ("Scrolls of Russian Jewry: 
1905-1964," 1965). 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


bibliography: Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 49-56; lnyl, 7 
(1968), 343-6; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 125-6. 

[Leonard Prager (2 nd ed.)] 

FEYNMAN, RICHARD PHILLIPS (1918-1988), U.S. the- 
oretical physicist. Born in New York City, Feynman was the 
son of an immigrant garment salesman and frustrated scien- 
tist whose curiosity and understanding of natural phenom- 
ena was a lifelong inspiration to his son. Educated at Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1939; he had originally 
preferred Columbia but was apparently kept out by the Jewish 
quota) and Princeton (Ph.D. 1942), Feynman worked on the 
Manhattan (atomic bomb) Project from 1942 to 1946 in Princ- 
eton and at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he was a compu- 
tational group leader. He taught physics at Cornell University 
from 1946 to 1950 and at the California Institute of Technol- 
ogy from 1951 until his death. 

Feynman won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965 (jointly, 
with Julian Schwinger and Shinichiro Tomonaga) for the 
fundamental theoretical work that led to the development of 
quantum electrodynamics (from the quantum mechanics of 
the 1920s and 1930s). In the course of this work he also de- 
veloped "Feynman diagrams," a widely used visual analyti- 
cal technique. He also did important work on superconduc- 
tivity and, in collaboration with his Cal Tech colleague (and 
rival) Murray *Gell-Mann, on quarks and other subatomic 

Near the end of his life Feynman served on the com- 
mission investigating the Challenger space shuttle disaster 
in 1986, creating a public sensation when he conducted, at a 
public hearing, a simple experiment that revealed the cause of 
the explosion. He also exposed the institutional management 
deficiencies that had made the disaster possible. 

Feynman was early recognized as one of the most bril- 
liant physicists of his generation and was widely respected as a 
teacher as well. His published lectures on physics are regarded 
as classics. He also had a reputation as a "character" - he was 
famous for his bongo drumming, his womanizing, and his 
general unconventional demeanor - and for his extreme in- 
dividualism (said Gell-Mann, "I found that he had difficulty 
thinking in terms of c us'"). In addition to publications in jour- 
nals, he was the author of several popular books. Among his 
published works, both professional (mainly transcribed and 
edited lectures) and popular, are The Theory of Fundamen- 
tal Processes (1961), Quantum Electrodynamics (1961), The 
Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 vols., 1963-65, with Robert B. 
Leigh ton and Matthew Sands), The Character of Physical Law 
(1965), Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals (1965, with A.R. 
Hibbs), Photon-Hadron Interactions (1972), qed: The Strange 
Theory of Light and Matter (1985), "Surely You're Joking, Mr. 
Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character (1985, with 
Ralph Leigh ton), Elementary Particles and the Laws of Phys- 
ics: the 1986 Dirac Memorial Lecture (1987, with Steven ^Wein- 
berg), and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": 
Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988, with Ralph 

Leighton). A biography, Genius: The Life and Science of Rich- 
ard Feynman (1992, by James Gleick); Selected Papers of Rich- 
ard Feynman, with Commentary (2000, edited by Laurie M. 
Brown); and a collection of letters, Perfectly Reasonable De- 
viations from the Beaten Track (2005, edited by his daughter 
Michelle Feynman), have been published. Feynmans life has 
inspired countless memoirs, a film, and two plays. 

[Drew Silver (2 nd ed.)] 

FEZ, city in ^Morocco, one of the most important in the Is- 
lamic world; founded by Idris 1 in 789, it became the capital 
of the kingdom in 808 under Idris 11. The first inhabitants of 
Fez were pagan Berber\s, but it also included Christians and 
Jews. Idris 11 then admitted a large number of Jews who paid 
him an annual tax of 30,000 dinars. He assigned them a quar- 
ter, the al-Funduk al-Yahudi. This community rapidly became 
influential and respected. Thus, when the ruler Yahya - as it 
is told - became infatuated with a Jewess and forced his way 
into the public baths where she was at the time, there was an 
uprising in the town (c. 860). 

A center of civilization, Fez also became a commercial 
center of prime importance, largely the result of the presence 
of the Jews, who from there traveled widely. Its position also 
encouraged a considerable development of the intellectual 
and religious life of the community: its yeshivot attracted such 
scholars as Judah *Ibn Quraysh in the 9 th century. During the 
io th -n th centuries its rabbis maintained a regular correspon- 
dence with *Sura and *Pumbedita. To Palestine went scholars 
such as David b. Abraham *Alfasi, author of a dictionary, R. 
Solomon b. Judah (d. 1051), who became head of the Jerusalem 
Academy, and to Spain grammarians of the stature of *Dunash 
b. Labrat and Judah Hayyuj. R. Isaac *Alfasi , s (c. 1015-1105) 
most extended period of teaching was in Fez, where he wrote 
his long summary of the Talmud and answered queries on 
halakhah addressed to him from all over the world. Only in his 
old age did he arrive in Spain. During this golden era, which 
lasted several centuries, three grave events occurred: a section 
of the community was deported to Ashir (^Algeria) in about 
987; 6,000 Jews were massacred in May 1035 by a fanatic who 
conquered Fez; and the town was ruthlessly sacked in 1068 
by the *Almoravides. In about 1127 a pseudo-messiah, Moses 
Dari, brought some afflictions upon the community. In 1165 
the official recognition of a new *Almohad monarch resulted 
in severe changes which went as far as forced conversion. Re- 
fusing to submit to this, the dayyan R. Judah ha-Kohen ibn 
Shushan was burnt alive and *Maimonides and his family, who 
had been living in Fez as refugees from Spain for five years, 
permanently left the country for *Egypt. In 1244 the Merin- 
ides established themselves in Fez, which once more became 
the capital of the kingdom. In 1275, there was an insurrection 
against the Jews, who were particularly well treated by the new 
masters, and it was the Merinide sultan himself who saved the 
community. The community lived in freedom and prosper- 
ity; its commerce, especially with Aragon, was of considerable 
importance; learning and science flourished. However, with 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the decline of the Merinides and the revival of fanaticism, the 
Jews were compelled in 1438 to live in a special * Jewish quar- 
ter situated on the site known as *mellah in New Fez. It was 
the first Jewish quarter in Morocco. Still, in order to straighten 
out public finances, Sultan c Abd al-Hagg turned to the Jews 
of Fez and one of them, Harun, became his prime minister. 
Subsequently, the town rose in revolt, the sultan and his min- 
ister were assassinated, and most of the Jews were massacred 
(1465). The community did not recover from this catastrophe 
until after 1492 with the arrival of the Spanish refugees; their 
numbers included some eminent personalities, but several, 
such as Jacob *Berab, later left for ^Palestine. 

One of the first Hebrew presses was set up in Fez, by 
Samuel b. Isaac Nedivot and his son Isaac who had learned 
their Hebrew printing in Lisbon. From 1516 (?) to 1524 they 
printed 15 Hebrew books. 

The community, which numbered about 10,000, consisted 
of "Spanish exiles" (megorashim) and "natives" (toshavim). The 
former, by issuing takkanot based on Judeo-Spanish custom, 
became entirely detached from the latter; serious friction 
broke out between these two elements, but the megorashim 
finally gained the upper hand. Their descendants instituted 
the Purim de Los Christianos to commemorate the defeat of 
the Portuguese at the battle of al-Qasr al-Kabir in 1578; they 
held the office of *nagid y established in Fez at the beginning 
of the 16 th century, and their yeshivot were headed by schol- 
ars including Nahman b. Sunbal (d. after 1556), Samuel Hagiz 
(d. after 1596), Judah Uzziel (d. 1603), and Saul Serrero (d. af- 
ter 1622). Their high standard was maintained over a lengthy 
period due to such personalities as Samuel Sarfaty (d. 1713), 
Judah ibn *Atar, and Hayyim ibn *Atar of *Sale. Scholars of 
the mellah recorded accounts of the events which they had 
witnessed. These, are valuable for the study of Moroccan his- 
tory, and provide an insight into the psychology of the Jewish 
masses of the town living in a closed society. 

During the same period many scholarly works were writ- 
ten in the mellah. Rabbis of Fez went to teach in communities 
abroad and became their spiritual leaders; this was the case, for 
example, with Isaac b. Abraham Uzziel, Aaron *Ibn Hayyim, 
and Jacob *Hagiz. Certain families, such as the Ibn Danans, 
were the leading dayyanim of Fez for several generations and 
their authority was recognized by the Jews of the whole coun- 
try. The preeminence of Fez only ended after the death of Jacob 
*Ibn Zur in 1753. Rabbis of Fez found refuge, whenever their 
communities were struck by a calamity, in the small town of 
Sefrou, near Fez. During the 18 th and 19 th centuries, rabbis of 
the Hota, Abitbol, and Elbaz families attracted many disciples 
from other parts of Morocco. A short while after its conquest 
by the Sa c di Sharifs (in 1550), Fez lost its political and economic 
importance. As a result, the Jewish community was deserted 
by its wealthiest and most influential elements and gradually 
fell into poverty. To secure Fez, where he was enthroned (in 
1665), Moulay Rashid, the founder of the Alawite dynasty, en- 
tered the town by way of the mellah, where the Jews enabled 
him to spend the night. Having destroyed the bastion of the 

power of his enemies, the Zawiya of Dila, this sultan in 1668 
transferred the rich Jewish community of Dila with all its be- 
longings to Fez: these 1,300 families changed the composition 
of the mellah, which lost its Spanish character and became 
more prosperous. In the period of anarchy, between 1720 and 
1750, a few of them barely managed to obtain monopolies, 
e.g., over tobacco or the minting of coins; many of them con- 
tinued to practice such traditional crafts as goldsmithing, the 
manufacture of gold thread, lace making, embroidery, and tai- 
loring. But the community mostly lived in a state of spiritual 
and intellectual seclusion. In 1790 Moulay Yazid destroyed its 
synagogues, ordered the plunder of the mellah, and expelled 
its inhabitants. The return of the Jews was authorized in 1792 
by Moulay Suleiman, but the mellah was reduced to a quar- 
ter of its former size. Moreover, the Udayas stationed in New 
Fez (Fez al-Jadid) persecuted the Jews; however, when these 
soldiers rebelled the sharif did not hesitate to bombard New 
Fez and the defeated Udayas were dispersed (1832). In com- 
memoration of this deliverance the community instituted the 
"Purim del Kor" ("of the cannonballs"), celebrated every year 
on Kislev 22. Life in the mellah improved and the interest in 
studies was reawakened by such remarkable men as Abner 
Sarfaty (d. 1884) and Isaac ibn Danan (d. 1900). The commu- 
nity possessed many schools, five yeshivot, and an important 
benevolent society. A French school, which received the finan- 
cial support of the notables of the community, was founded 
in 1884 by the Alliance Israelite Universelle. 

In 1912, two weeks after the establishment of the French 
Protectorate, a revolt broke out in Fez. The mellah with a 
population of 12,000 was completely ransacked and set on 
fire by the mob; about 45 were killed and 27 were wounded. 
Under the pretext of munitions smuggling, the French mili- 
tary authorities had previously confiscated all the weapons 
of the Jews, who were left defenseless. The Sharif received 
them within the precincts of the palace and ordered the dis- 
tribution of food and clothes among them. From 1925 many 
Jews established themselves in the new town of Fez, together 
with the Europeans; it was only the poor and some Ortho- 
dox families who remained in the mellah where in 1942 the 
Vichy laws sought to reintegrate all those who had left it. In 
1947 there were 22,484 Jews living in Fez and its surround- 
ings. These included several physicians, lawyers, industrial- 
ists, and owners of agricultural estates. The traditional oc- 
cupations disappeared with modernization, and commerce 
came under Muslim domination, with the exception of the 
precious metals and cereals businesses in which the Jews re- 
tained the leading role. 

[David Corcos] 

Zionist Activity 

The Zionist association Hibbat Zion was created before the 
establishment of the French protectorate, at the end of 1908. 
It was the only Zionist association which the famous Rabbi 
Shaul Ibn Danan headed. The reactions of Jews in Fez and 
other communities in the region to the Balfour Declaration 
and the end of the war was mass immigration to Erez Israel, 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



but most of the Jews returned to Fez. We do not know the rea- 
sons for the failure of the immigration; however, its impact 
was very clear: Jews did not emigrate again from the region 
until the end of World War n. 

After World War i a new Zionist association was cre- 
ated, Kol Mevasser, and Josef Halevy was its head. From 1924 
Zionist activity almost ceased because of French opposition 
and the influence of the ^Alliance on Jewish youth. Unofficially, 
Jews from Fez participated in Zionist conferences which took 
place at Casablanca. Eight delegates represented Fez in 1936, 
four in 1937, five in 1938, two in 1939, and seven in 1946. After 
World War 11 all Zionist parties and ideologies were repre- 
sented in Morocco, including Fez. 

Fez was a center of book printing in Morocco. The first 
printing house was established before 1922, named Imprim- 
erie Allard. Nine printing houses are known in Fez, most of 
which were active in the 1920s. 

[Haim Saadoun (2 nd ed.)] 

Contemporary Period 

The Jewish population in Fez was about 10,000 in 1912, 14,000 
in 1951, and 12,194 in 1961, comprising 7.5% of the Jewish pop- 
ulation of Morroco. Most families had no more than six chil- 
dren. Most Jews left Fez in 1961-68. Until the community 
was dissolved, the town had many Jewish educational insti- 
tutions run by the Alliance Israelite Universelle, by Ozar ha- 
Torah (which had 700 pupils in 1961), and Em ha-Banim. In 
1961 these and other Jewish schools had a total of 2,823 pupils. 
Before the emigration in the 1950s and 1960s, there were also 
general Jewish organizations, such as the Zionist Bnei Akiva, 
a Hovevei ha-Safah for the study of Hebrew, several social 
welfare organizations, branches of wizo, and a branch of the 
World Jewish Congress. Most of the Jews who left Fez made 
their way to Israel; others went to France and Canada. In 1969 
there were only about 1,000 Jews in Fez. 

[Hayyim J. Cohen] 

bibliography: R. Le Tourneau, Fes avant le protectorat 
(1949); G. Vajda, Un recueil de textes historiques judeo-marocains 
(1951); Hirschberg, Afrikah, index; A. Chouraqui, Between East 
and West (1968), index; D. Corcos, Les Juifs de Maroc et leur Mel- 
lahs (1970), passim; idem, in: jqr, 54 (1963/64), 271-87; 55 (1964/65), 
53-81, 137-50; idem, in: Sefunot, 10 (1965), 43-111; Bentov, ibid., 
413-82. add. bibliography: A. Elboim, Ha-Edah ha-Yehudit 
be-Fez (1972) H. Bentov, "Umanim u-Baalei Melakhah be-Fez," in: 
Sefunot, 10 (1965), 413-82; idem, "Kehal ha-Toshavim be-Fez min ha- 
Meah ha-Tet-Zain..." in: Mi-Mizrah u-mi-Maarav, 5 (1986), 79-108; 
S. Bar-Asher, Ha-Kehillah ha-Yehudit be-Maroco (1981); idem, Yehu- 
dei Sefarad u-Portugal be-Maroco (1492-1/53) (1991); A. Mamman, 
"Fez, Erez Zemihato shel Mehkar ha-Lashon ha-Ivrit ba-Magreb" in: 
Brit, 3 (1988), 14-16; D. Ovadya, Fez va-Hakhameha, 1-2 (1979); M. 
Amar, "Takannot Fez ve-Takkanot Mo'ezet ha-Rabbanim be-Maroco" 
in: Sefer ha-Takannot, ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri be-Kehillot Maroco (1980), 
9-55; D. Bensimon-Donath, Levolution de lafemme israeilite a fes 
(1962); L. Brunot and E. Malka, Textes judeo-arabes de Fes; (1939); 
idem, Glossaire judeo-arabes de Fes (1940); J. Gerber,/etWs/z Society in 
Fez 1450-1/00 (1980); E. Bashan, "Yehudei Fez 18/3-1900 alpi Te'udot 
Hadashot? in: Asufot, 15 (1993), 1-168; J. Tedgui, Ha-Sefer ve-ha-De- 
fus ha-Ivri be-Fez (1994). 

FICHMAN, JACOB (Ya'akov; 1881-1958), Hebrew poet, critic 
and literary editor. Born in Belz, Bessarabia, Fichman left 
home at the age of 14 and subsequently resided in various cities 
of czarist Russia and Western Europe, among which were War- 
saw, Vilna, and Berlin, finally settling in Erez Israel (1912). 

He revisited Europe several times to carry out various 
editorial assignments, After spending World War 1 in Odessa, 
he returned to Erez Israel in 1919 and then left again in 1922 for 
Warsaw on the invitation of the Stybel publishing house. From 
there he made his way back to Bessarabia in 1924, returning 
to Tel Aviv the next year. His occupations included teaching, 
the producing of textbooks, and working for the Tushiah and 
Moriah publishing houses. He was on the staff of the Warsaw 
paper Ha-Zofeh. In Palestine he edited the journals Moledet 
and Maabarot and, in collaboration with Joseph *Klausner, 
Ha-Shiloah. From 1936 to 1942 he was editor of Moznayim, 
the organ of the Hebrew Writers Association. 

His first book of poems, Givolim, was published in War- 
saw in 1911, and his first collection of essays, Bavubt, in Odessa 
in 1911. Fichman, a younger member of what is usually de- 
scribed as Bialik's school, is generally dubbed impressionist, 
both for the manner in which he handles his natural themes 
and images, and for his highly subjective and delicately intui- 
tive criticism, which lacks theoretical interests and varies its 
criteria to fit the particular work under discussion. Such la- 
bels, and the affinities they imply, should however be treated 
circumspectly, in view of the gap separating the renascent He- 
brew literature from the full-blown European context, as well 
as the often indirect and fragmentary nature of the influences 
involved. Fichmans criticism itself is an unwitting example of 
the dangers of facile generalization, as when it lumps together 
writers, poets, and philosophers of different periods and cul- 
tures, and contrasting temperaments. Thus his "imaginary 
museum" includes Emerson, Carlyle, Taine, Renan, Pisarev 
and Lessing, Goethe and Hoelderlin, Pushkin, Fet, Baude- 
laire, and Stefan George. Such lists attest to Fichmans strong 
desire to bring Hebrew criticism closer to European ideas and 
individual works. They also reflect, however, the eclectic and 
impressionistic approach for which he found it necessary to 
apologize in his essay, Al ha-Bikkoret ha-Yozeret. 

Here he defines his role as that of a friend-critic who 
writes out of gratitude toward the poet for the moments of 
joy and the insight he has granted him. The task of such criti- 
cism is not to find fault, nor even to discriminate according 
to merit. In contrast to the "hostile critic" who criticizes that 
which is not - the flaws and shortcomings of the work of art 
- his task is to present that which is: to discover the center of 
a writers "world" and manifest its uniqueness. The creative 
critic is thus able to appreciate writers of different, and even 
opposing, characteristics. Fichman does not shrink from sub- 
jectivity. Echoing Anatole France, he maintains that "in talking 
about the artist I am talking also about myself." Objectivity, he 
claims, may be a mere obstacle, while the subjective interrela- 
tion of critic and artist, and a close attention to the effect of the 
work on the sensitive reader, reveal its true power. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


His point of departure, particularly in his essays on his 
contemporaries, is the impression which a writer or a partic- 
ular work have made on him, or on those close to him. Posit- 
ing a collective "we," he identifies his own sensibility and re- 
sponses with those of his generation. At least once, however, 
he asserted his independence by welcoming the militant mod- 
ernism of Shlonsky and his followers, notwithstanding that it 
was mainly directed against his own circle. It was only natural 
that a criticism as tolerant and eclectic as his would have little 
to do with the more innovatory trends of 20 th -century Hebrew 
literature. It also refrained from questioning established rep- 
utations or calling attention to forgotten writers. Nor was its 
influence always salutary. Fichmans main merits - the charm 
of his vignettes, his broad-mindedness, and his desire to estab- 
lish a "creative community" between writer and critic - were 
often disregarded by his more militant successors. His florid, 
cliche-ridden style had a definitely adverse effect on later "im- 
pressionists," lacking the strength of his tastes. 

Fichmans poetry includes prose poems, folk poems, 
idylls and sonnets, dramatic poems, and verse on national 
and biblical themes. Like other contemporaries of his, such 
as Yaakov Kahan, Zalman Shneour, Yaakov Steinberg, and 
David Shimoni, he too underwent Bialiks formidable influ- 
ence. But he was equally susceptible to the influence of the 
new Palestinian poetry led by Shlonsky, particularly in his 
later Peat Sadeh (1944). To the latter he is indebted for the Se- 
phardi prosody, the structuring of the rhyme, and a somewhat 
harder image. Fichman was among the first of the Bialikites 
to renounce the-at the time almost compulsory-"prophetic 
mask," and concentrate on the smaller forms of artistic -con- 
scious craftsmanship. 

His more impressive achievements are attained in his 
symbolic nature -sketches, and in a series of pensive little 
lyrical poems, all composed in a minor key. The landscape 
is represented with an eye to its natural coloring and the in- 
terplay of light and shade. The moods are often derived from 
the familiar romantic and sentimental repertoire. Here, too, 
as in his criticism, there is no genuine originality, no daring, 
and little inventiveness. There is however the same respect for 
good craftsmanship. 

Even in these later poems, Fichman's penchant for el- 
evated language often causes him to resort to archaisms, ab- 
stractions, hackneyed metaphors, and words or phrases used 
solely to meet structural and rhythmic needs. He inclines to 
prefer the often trite poeticism to the concrete rendering of a 
physical reality. There is hardly a hint in his work of the new, 
more colloquial idiom which was gaining entry into Hebrew 
poetry; nor of other qualities usually associated with modern 
poetry, such as poetic irony and ambiguity. Particularly in his 
longer poems, it becomes clear that the poet was not capable 
of sustaining a longer work. 

After his immigration to Palestine, Fichman became in- 
creasingly absorbed with the Palestinian landscape. Here too 
he is a member of a transitional generation. His attitude to- 
ward the new landscape is basically secular; he does not view 

it through the biblical-Zionist romanticism of Shimoni and 
other contemporaries. In this, too, he is a forerunner of the 
changes in Hebrew poetry, some of which he witnessed in 
his own lifetime. 

For translations of his works into English, see Goell, 

bibliography: Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 602-8; Y. Keshet, 
Be-Dor Oleh (1950), 95-132; Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1928), 68-72; Wax- 
man, Literature, 4 (i960 2 ), 306-11; M. Ribalow, The Flowering of Mod- 
ern Hebrew Literature (1959), 189-206; R. Wallenrod, The Literature 
of Modern Israel (1956), index; G. SchorTmann (Shofman) KolKitvei, 
4 (i960), index; Davar (Dec. 14, 1951), list of musical compositions to 
his poems, add. bibliography: B.Y. Michali, Fichman be-Shirah 
u-ve-Masah (1952); N. Govrin, "/. Fichman, Al Yezirato" (1971), bibli- 
ography; R. Kartun-Blum, in: Moznayim, 32 (1971), 320-29; N. Gov- 
rin, in: Arugot (1973), 13-24; A. Kinstler, Merhav u-Zeman be-Teurei 
ha-Teva shel Fichman (1973); Y. Zemorah, A rugot: Kovez le-Zikhro shel 
Y. Fichman (1973); N. Govrin, "Idilyot Yam le-Y Fichman" in: Sefer ha- 
Yovel le-S. Halkin (1975), 627-53; A. Regelson, in: Bizaron, 67 (1976), 
112-20; A.B. Jaffe, in: Moznayim, 51, 6 (1981), 415-20; K.A. Bertini, in: 
Al ha-Mishmar (Oct. 28, 1983; Nov. 4, 1983); L. Kupferstein, in: Davar 
(Mar. 9, 1984); Y. Zilberschlag, in: Ha-Doar, 63:30 (1984), 484-85; Z. 

Luz, Shirat Yaakov Fichman (1989). 

[Natan Zach] 

°FICHTE, JOHANN GOTTLIEB (1762-1814), German phi- 
losopher. Fichte was the founder of ethical idealism, a philoso- 
phy which may be described as idealism in that it denies the 
independent existence of the world, and as ethical in that the 
reality of the world is determined by mans moral purpose. In 
his courageous Reden an die deutsche Nation (Berlin, 1808; 
trans, into Eng. as Addresses to the German Nation, 1922), 
originally delivered in Berlin then occupied by the French, he 
demanded that the foundation of the German national state 
be based on moral convictions. To achieve this goal, all Ger- 
mans must be made aware of their moral obligations. These 
addresses some years later engendered the enthusiasm for the 
fight against Napoleon, and influenced the European national 
movements of the 19 th century, including Zionism. Fichte s 
attitude toward Jews and Judaism was complex. Manifest- 
ing a reverent attitude toward the Bible, Fichte, in his Grun- 
dlage der gesamten Wissenschaftslehre (Leipzig, 1794), calls 
the biblical story of creation "an ancient document, worthy 
of respect, which contains profound and exalted wisdom and 
reaches conclusions to which all of philosophy must finally re- 
turn." By contrast he completely rejected the Jewish religion. 
The Talmud contains, as he states in his Kritik aller Offenba- 
rung (Koenigsberg, 1792), "ludicrously childish conceptions 
of God." Fichte was against awarding the rights of citizenship 
to Jews as long as the Jews manifested a strong resistance to 
the general love of mankind, and as long as they (so he held) 
believed in two sets of moral laws, one for Jews and another 
for non-Jews. Distinguishing between human rights and rights 
of citizenship, he held that "human rights must be granted to 
them [Jews] even though they do not grant them to us, for 
they are human beings and their injustice does not give us the 
right to be like them; but they must be denied the rights of 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


citizens as long as even one Jewish idea remains with them" 
(for full text see Beitragzur Berechtigung des Urteils ueber die 
franzoesische Revolution, Berlin, 1793). 

This negative attitude toward Jews in general must be 
distinguished from his attitude toward individual Jewish phi- 
losophers, particularly Solomon *Maimon. In his Ueber den 
Begriffder Wissenschaftslehre (Leipzig, 1794), Fichte acknowl- 
edges the influence which Maimons writings had exercised on 
his own philosophy, describing Maimon as "one of the great- 
est thinkers of our period." 

bibliography: S.H. Bergmann, The Philosophy of Solomon 

Maimon (1967), ch. 12. A new edition of Fichtes works, sponsored by 

the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, has been in progress 

since 1962. It has excellent indices, add. bibliography: A. Pfahl- 

Traughber, "Aufklaerung und Antisemitismus - Kants, Lessings und 

Fichtes Auffassung zu den Juden," in: Tribuene, 158 (2001), 168-81; 

P.R. Sweet, "Fichte and the Jews - A Case of Tension between Civil 

Rights and Human Rights," in: German Studies Review, 16:1 (1993), 

37-48; M. Voigts, "Fichte as Jew-hater' and Prophet of the Zionists" 

in: lbiyb, 45 (2000), 81-91; E. Fuchs, "Fichtes Stellung zum Juden- 

tum," in: Fichte-Studien 2 (1990), 160-77; W. Grab, "Fichtes Juden- 

feindschaft," in: Zeitschrift fuer Religions- und Geistesgeschichte, 44:1 

(1992), 70-75; M. Voigts, "J.G. Fichte und das Judentum," in: Judaica, 

57:4 (2001), 284-92. 

[Samuel Hugo Bergman] 


The Story in Talmudic-Midrashic Literature 

Narrative creative writing has been a constant in Hebrew lit- 
erature and can be found in every period of Jewish culture. The 
earliest biblical texts include stories, and the telling and retell- 
ing of stories continued in every age of Hebrew literature. The 
long talmudic-midrashic period, however, from the first tan- 
naim to the first geonim is different from previous or later peri- 
ods in that the Hebrew story was not regarded as an indepen- 
dent form of expression, nor were stories written as separate 
works; they formed part of the midrashic literary form, and 
were subordinate to its didactic and moralistic purposes. No 
collections of stories as such were published in that epoch. The 
Hebrew narrative of this period, as it reached medieval Jewish 
culture, was an integral part of the vast talmudic-midrashic 
literature with no special or specific literary standing. A great 
part of the narratives preserved in the Midrash developed the 
biblical story to conform to the exegetical purposes of the tal- 
mudic scholars. Frequently, the stories are biographies of early 
sages to serve as exempla to expound some moral, ethical, or 
halakhic doctrine. Other stories were included because of 
nothing more than a vague association with the problem un- 
der discussion; this connection, however flimsy it might be, 
was the only justification for their inclusion. 

The subordinate status of the story did not, however, 
prevent a wealth of narrative material from being included 
in the talmudic-midrashic literature. L. Ginzberg has shown 
that this literature contains a complete retelling (in more than 
one version) of the biblical narrative from the creation to Ezra 
and Nehemiah; detailed, though sporadic, biographies; sto- 

ries connected with most of the more important tannaim and 
amoraim; stories based on historical facts and legends cover- 
ing the period of the Second Temple to the *Bar Kokhba War 
and after; and hundreds of popular stories (usually written in 
Aramaic, the vernacular of the time). Thus, while the literary 
aspect of the narrative was insignificant during this period, the 
narrative creative impulse did not disappear - it only lacked 
intellectual status as a separate, independent vehicle of ex- 
pression. The Hebrew story in the Middle Ages opens, there- 
fore, with the slow process of the genre achieving these aims: 
a separate status and an independent literary form. 

The Development of Separate Stories Based on Midrashic 

In the early centuries of the Middle Ages, a large group of in- 
dependent Hebrew stories based, to some extent, on motifs 
included in the earlier midrashic literature emerged. Their 
literary form and content, however, developed independently 
of that tradition. While talmudic literature merely described 
the death of some tannaitic martyrs at the hands of the Ro- 
mans, the medieval narrative "Aggadat Aseret Harugei Mal- 
khut" ("The Legend of the Ten Martyrs," also known as "Mi- 
drash Elleh Ezkerah" in A. Jellinek, Beit ha-Midrash, 1 (1938 2 ), 
64-72) used the talmudic stories about R. *Akivas death and 
that of other martyrs, and developed a new type of story: the 
*exemplum for Jewish martyrs in the Middle Ages. Histori- 
cal truth, evident to some extent in the talmudic stories, was 
absolutely disregarded here, and the death of the ten tannaim, 
who had lived and died in different periods, was described as 
taking place at the same time. 

Talmudic eschatology nursed the idea of two Messiahs, 
one the son of Ephraim and the other, the final deliverer, a 
descendant of the House of David. Sefer *Zerubbavel (ibid., 
54-57), a medieval tale, developed this idea into an apocalyp- 
tic eschatology. It describes, in biblical language, the visions 
of the last ruler of the House of David who was shown by an 
angel what is going to happen at the end of time. The main 
characters in the narrative are the Messiahs mother Hefzi-Bah 
and Satan, called *Armilus, described as the son of a beautiful 
stone statue. These are literary figures unknown to talmudic 
legends. The writing shows independence of form (it is a sep- 
arate work dedicated to one visionary story) and of content 
(the addition of new figures and new heroes not mentioned 
in older tradition). 

Another example of this process is found in the tales told 
by *Eldad ha-Dani (ibid., 2 (1938 2 ), 102-13; 3 (!938 2 ), 6-11; 5 
(1938 2 ), 17-21), who, at the end of the ninth century, traveled 
through Babylonia, North Africa, and Spain, telling strange 
stories about his travels and adventures. He described his na- 
tive land, supposedly the home of four of the Lost *Ten Tribes, 
and his travel to the land of the other six tribes. Out of a few 
scattered remarks found in talmudic literature, Eldad spun a 
coherent and organic picture of the life of these tribes: their 
number, purity, wisdom, and military power. His description 
of the pure and holy life of the sons of Moses (the Levites), 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


who live beyond the river *Sambatyon, is drawn both from 
Jewish and Moslem sources. A minor midrashic motif was 
here turned into a detailed and well-developed story which 
has been preserved in 17 different versions, some of them old 
and authentic, others including many later additions. This is 
an instance of a Hebrew medieval story coming into its own, 
achieving a new form, and developing an old theme in a new 
way. Eldads stories about the Lost Ten Tribes later became 
part of the messianic eschatology when the belief developed 
(for which Eldad was not directly responsible) that the tribes 
were going to come with the Messiah and serve as his armies 
in the apocalyptic wars at the End of Days. 

Using talmudic motifs, the medieval writers also devel- 
oped the arts of biography and hagiography. They took mate- 
rial from the Talmud about some of the great sages and wove 
around them new legends, independent in form from their 
original talmudic setting (see ^Hagiography). 

The Retelling of Bible Stories 

Medieval storytellers continued in the tradition that every pe- 
riod in Jewish culture retells the biblical story according to its 
own beliefs, views, and literary convention. This was also done 
in the first centuries of the Middle Ages when many anony- 
mous writers freed the biblical story from its close connection 
with the exegetical Midrash and developed an independent 
literary form. The process took two directions: the telling of a 
short biblical episode as a fully developed independent short 
story whose plot revolved about a biblical hero or a biblical 
event; and attempts to retell great portions of the Bible in a 
new medieval manner. 

To the first category belong "Mdaseh Avraham Avinu" 
(ibid., 1 (1938 2 ), 25-34), a legend about Abraham; "Divrei ha- 
Yamin shelMoshe Rabbenu" ("The Chronicles of Moses," ibid., 
2 (1938 2 ), 1-11); "Midrash Va-Yisseu" (ibid. 3 (1938 2 ), 1-5), a 
story about the battles of the sons of Jacob. Each of these is 
a short story using most, or even all, of the pertinent mate- 
rial in the Bible and in the Midrash, but reshaping it into a 
coherent independent plot, and usually adding many details 
with no source other than the authors imagination. In "Mi- 
drash Va-Yisseu? biblical and fictional wars fought by Jacob 
and his sons in the area of Shechem are depicted in terms of 
medieval war strategy and medieval military practices. The 
valor of the sons of Jacob is characterized by medieval chiv- 
alry and knighthood concepts. 

Other authors attempted to retell the biblical story in 
wider scope. The author of *Josippon (tenth century, Italy) 
dedicated most of his work to the war against the Romans 
and the destruction of the Second Temple. The work, how- 
ever, starts with a short recapitulation of Jewish history, told 
in a medieval, fictional style. The more ambitious author of 
Sefer ha-Yashar (probably 11 th century, Spain) retells, at great 
length, the story from the creation to the time of the Judges, 
i.e., the whole story of the Pentateuch. It is the most complete 
example of this type of medieval writing using biblical motifs, 
aggadic material, and fictional innovations to weave a new 

and captivating story. The literary scope of the work was un- 
equaled by any later medieval writing. 

The authors of Josippon and Sefer ha-Yashar added an- 
other aspect to the medieval story about biblical times: they 
attempted, and frequently succeeded, to incorporate non- 
Jewish legends, history, and mythology (especially Greek and 
Roman) into the biblical story. The Jews of the Byzantine Em- 
pire, Italy, and Spain accepted the legends and history of the 
people among whom they lived as being part of the history of 
the world, and argued that as such they form part of the Bible 
which was believed to include all the important events in hu- 
man history. These authors, and others, therefore, developed 
a system of synchronization and analogy to establish a con- 
nection between non-Jewish stories and biblical heroes and 
chronology. The medieval Hebrew narrative, therefore, broke 
away from its cultural isolation which had prevailed, to a large 
extent, in the midrashic story, and it became an open form 
which accepted and drew on the wealth of non- Jewish stories 
that had become available to the scattered Jewish communi- 
ties in the East and in Europe. 

The Reawakening of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha 

One of the most significant differences between talmudic- 
midrashic literature on the one hand, and Second Temple 
literature and medieval Hebrew literature on the other, is the 
attitude toward the literature of the Second Temple, which 
was not included in the biblical canon. This literature was 
preserved in Greek, Latin, and other languages, and only re- 
cently have some Hebrew originals been found. During the 
long centuries of the development of the talmudic-midrashic 
literature, this material was almost completely ignored. The 
themes, ideas, and stories in the Book of ^Jubilees, in the dif- 
ferent versions of the Book of *Enoch, in *Tobit, in *Judith, 
and even in the historical Books of the ^Maccabees are hardly 

After seven centuries of neglect, these works were again 
incorporated into the framework of Jewish culture by the He- 
brew medieval writers. The process began in the early seventh 
century with *Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer, which includes subjects 
from the Apocrypha. The author also used the Satan motif 
from the books of Enoch and Jubilees; his adaptation of the 
Bible story is deeply influenced by this long- disregarded or 
suppressed literature. 

Early medieval Hebrew writers created different versions 
of the stories of Judith and Tobit usually stylistically influenced 
by popular folktales, and of stories based on the Books of the 
Maccabees, especially the story of the mother and her seven 
sons who were martyred by Antiochus. The story of the fallen 
angels, vividly told in the Book of Enoch, became the story of 
Uzza and Azael in the Middle Ages; it was transformed into a 
folktale, and used as a theological motif by kabbalists. 

It is very doubtful whether the Hebrew medieval authors 
of these works had before them the Hebrew originals of the 
Second Temple literature, though it is not impossible. It would 
seem, however, that they used the Christian versions of the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Septuagint and the Vulgate. It is also probable that some of 
the writers had no direct knowledge of the Greek and Latin 
versions either, but heard the stories from their non- Jewish 
friends, since there are some significant variations between 
the originals and the medieval versions. Whatever the origin 
from which medieval writers drew their material, an impor- 
tant source of Jewish narrative literature, closed during the 
talmudic-midrashic period, became a living part of Hebrew 
medieval writing. 

The First Collections of Stories 

In the early Middle Ages another new literary form emerged, 
unknown to Hebrew literature, and scarcely found in other 
literatures of the time: collected stories in book form. The phe- 
nomenon indicates that the Hebrew story had taken its right- 
ful place in Jewish literature. Books, devoted entirely or mainly 
to stories, began to be written. Four major works of this type 
were written between the 8 th and 12 th centuries: 

(1) Midrash Aseret ha-Dibberot (in A. Jellinek, op. cit., 1 
(1938 2 ), 62-90; "Midrash of the Ten Commandments"), which 
is not a Midrash at all but a collection of about 50 stories (in 
different redactions the number varies) loosely associated with 
the Ten Commandments. The stories are interspersed with 
some midrashic aphorisms, but, their importance is clearly 
secondary. The Hebrew story thus completely reversed the 
previous situation. The literary aspect of the story, secondary 
and unimportant in talmudic-midrashic literature, became 
the main purpose, while the midrashic elements became 
merely ornamental. 

Some of the stories included in the collection were taken 
from talmudic literature; others are based on the Apocrypha; 
many of them are new and were written for the first time in 
Hebrew, though they might have been previously told as folk- 
tales. The narratives are meant to serve as exempla, but do so 
in a peculiar way. There is no intention of teaching man to 
fulfill the Ten Commandments; this is so elementary, that it is 
obviously not the purpose. The aim of the work is to demon- 
strate the extremes of obedience demanded by the command- 
ments. The moral expounded is usually excessive, without any 
practical didactic value. This tendency shows the first influ- 
ence of Moslem ethics in Hebrew literature. 

(2) "Alfa Beta of Ben Sira" ed. by M. Steinschneider (1858), 
a pseudepigraphical work attributed to *Ben Sira, which is 
in fact a medieval (ninth century?) collection of stories and 
epigrams. The aim of the work is a protest against accepted 
norms of Judaism. The stories ridicule some of the biblical fig- 
ures, like David and Jeremiah, and parody the rabbinic way 
of learning. Some of the stories carry a bitter note, protesting 
against the way God conducts the world. These lively humor- 
ous tales structurally attained the highest artistic form to be 
found in early medieval Hebrew storytelling. 

(3) Sefer ha-Maasiyyot ("Book of Stories," also Hibbur 
Yafeh me-ha-Ye$huah y ed. by H.Z. Hirschberg, 1954) by *Nis- 
sim b. Jacob of Kairouan (11 th century), was originally written 
in Arabic. The Arabic original was forgotten; however, early 

Hebrew translations made the collection a part of Hebrew me- 
dieval literature. R. Nissim used mainly talmudic-midrashic 
stories and episodes, but added many medieval folktales, some 
of which had their origin in Judaism, others in Moslem and 
Arabic sources. His declared purpose was to strengthen the 
faith in God of a friend who had suffered some misfortune. 
The body of the collection, however, is not devoted only to 
this aim. The stories fall into all of the main categories of me- 
dieval popular narratives, such as stories about good and bad 
women, about witches and evil powers, about lust and repen- 
tance. In later Hebrew medieval writings, R. Nissims stories 
had a life of their own, independent of their thematic and plot 
value in the original collection. They were told separately, and 
were included individually in many later collections. 

(4) The Exempla of the Rabbis, a collection of stories 
published from a manuscript by M. Gaster (1924; 1968 2 ), by 
far the largest to be compiled in the Middle Ages. It includes 
more than 200 tales. Most of them are talmudic, but many, 
especially in the second half of the collection, are medieval 
Hebrew folktales told in a captivating manner, Gaster claims 
that the collection is extremely old, and even suggests - with- 
out basis - that it was a source for the Talmud. The collection 
was most probably compiled in the 11 th or 12 th century, and 
shows that some artistic effort had been made to turn it into 
an organic and unified literary work by arranging the stories 
into different sequences, each connected to the other through 
the ending of the preceding narrative. 

These four early collections of Hebrew stories mark the 
beginning of the medieval Hebrew story as a separate liter- 
ary form, independent of the Midrash, and claiming its own 
place in Jewish culture. 

Stories Included in Hebrew Historiographical Works 

Simultaneous with the emergence of the Hebrew story as an 
independent literary form, Hebrew historiography evolved 
separately and in the process helped to preserve many He- 
brew stories. The dividing line between history and legend, 
not clearly defined by the medieval historiographer, led to the 
literary genre of "fictional history" which tried to describe the 
history of a period, but succeeded mainly in collecting the 
major stories of it. A classical example is Megillat *Ahima'az 
("The Chronicle of Ahimaaz," ed. by B. Klar, 1945), which was 
written in rhymed verse in Italy and describes the history of 
the Jews in southern Italy from the 8 th to the 11 th centuries. 
Most of the work is devoted to stories, which might have some 
historical foundation, but the writer was mainly interested in 
telling fables of wonder and mystery connected with the pe- 
riod: Abu Aaron, an eastern mystic living then in Italy, is the 
hero of a collection of these stories in which such things as 
his supernatural powers are described. 

In Abraham *Ibn Dauds Sefer ha-Kabbalah y a more se- 
rious attempt to distinguish between history and legend is 
made. Some legends and tales are, however, included: e.g., the 
story of the four captives from Babylonia who, after they had 
been rescued, spread Jewish culture in many communities; 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


and the legendary material interwoven in the descriptions of 
the beginnings of Jewish culture in Spain. The same situation 
is found in many other and later historiographical works. A 
later example of this kind of "fictional history" is to be found 
in Gedaliah b. Joseph *Ibn Yahyas Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah 
("The Chain of Tradition*), written in and influenced by Re- 
naissance Italy. It is mainly a collection of stories, hagiogra- 
phies, and exempla about great medieval scholars, including 
many demonological and supernatural tales. 

The same lack of distinction between fact and fiction is 
to be found in another literary genre which developed in the 
Middle Ages: the peregrinations of great travelers, who had re- 
turned home full of wonderful and strange tales about faraway 
countries. Though these travel writings have much important 
historical data, most of the writers found special pleasure in 
telling fabulous stories (e.g., those by ^Benjamin of Tudela, 
*Pethahiah of Regensburg, and Hayyim Joseph David *Azulai). 
Historiography and itineraries, therefore, formed part of the 
development of the Hebrew story in the Middle Ages. 

The Romance in Hebrew Literature 

From the 12 th century, Hebrew literature began to include 
many detailed, long, and well-developed romantic stories. 
Most of the romances do not have their origin in Hebrew 
culture, but belong to the general medieval stock of fiction. 
Some are direct translations from Latin, Arabic, or other lan- 
guages, while others show special Jewish adaptation as they 
passed from the original language into Hebrew. Most of the 
romances have more than one Hebrew rendition, and the 
Jewish elements in them, therefore, vary from one version 
to another. 

Among the direct translations, to which very few or no 
Jewish motifs were added, are the i3 th -century Hebrew version 
of the romance of King Arthur ( Artus) and the Round Table 
(see ^Arthurian Legend), and the Tales of Sendebar (ed. by M. 
Epstein, 1967), the classic cycle of stories about the faithfulness 
and unfaithfulness of women and sons, known in the West as 
the romance of "The Seven Sages of Rome." Whereas only one 
Hebrew version of the Arthurian legends is known, the Tales 
of Sendebar is found in many manuscripts and in several ver- 
sions of various length and number of legends included. 

The classic romance, "The Gests of Alexander of Macedo- 
nia^ (The Book of the Gests of Alexander of Macedon y ed. and 
translated into English, by I.J. Kazis, 1962), exists in Hebrew in 
no less than five versions; four of them are based on Latin and 
Arabic sources in which some Jewish elements were added, 
the fifth seems to be an almost totally original work, bearing 
little affinity to the original classic Greek. The Jewish elements 
fuse well into the legends mainly because in the Greek original 
there are already a few anecdotes which associate Alexander 
with the Jews, and in the talmudic-midrashic tradition there 
are nearly a dozen stories about Alexander. It is not surpris- 
ing, therefore, that in the Jewish version of the romance, Al- 
exander even encounters the Lost Ten Tribes, is circumcised, 
and comes to believe in the God of the Jews. 

Another medieval cycle of fables, *Kalila and Dimna (ed. 
by J. Derenbourg, 1881), which probably originated in India 
and was transmitted into European literature via Persian and 
Arabic writings, has two medieval Hebrew versions, one trans- 
lated by a certain R. Joel (probably in the 12 th century) and the 
other by R. Jacob b. Eleazar, a little later. Maaseh Yerushalmi 
("The Story of the Jerusalemite," ed. by J.L. Zlotnik (1946)), a 
romance about a man who through a miracle had come to the 
land of the demons and was there forced to marry *Asmodeus' 
daughter, is only known from the Jewish original, though the 
motif exists both in Arabic and Latin literatures. Six Hebrew 
versions written from the 13 th to the 17 th centuries are found 
in Eastern and Western Jewish literatures. The differences in 
the texts are substantial; many, however, can be explained as 
a result of the development of the legend within Jewish litera- 
ture and thought, and not because of non-Jewish literary in- 
fluences. This is an example of a romance, which was probably 
first written down in i2 th -century Europe, and was preserved, 
as well as developed, within Jewish culture, becoming one of 
the standard stories in every Hebrew collection. 

The Hebrew view of Jesus* life found full expression in 
a well- developed and detailed medieval Hebrew romance. 
The legend, which is the Jewish answer to Christian versions 
about the birth, life, and death of Jesus, is of an earlier date; in 
the Middle Ages, however, it had grown into an independent, 
detailed work, Sefer *Toledot Yeshu. Mary is not unfavorably 
portrayed, and the author also shows some understanding of 
Jesus' deeds. It seems that hate itself could not support the 
development of the story, and when it became a romance, 
some sympathy had to be shown toward the main characters. 
Other medieval romances, mainly those originating in the 
East, reflecting Indian, Persian, and Arabic influences, were 
incorporated into Hebrew literature as tales in verse, mainly 
in the *maqama form, which in Hebrew is usually regarded as 
a poetic rather than a prose genre. The full acceptance of the 
medieval romance into Hebrew literature, both in its various 
forms and independent development, signifies that from the 
12 th century onward Hebrew fictional prose writing became a 
part of general medieval fiction. It used the stock heroes and 
plots of medieval fiction, but infused them with special Jew- 
ish motifs. 

The Story in Hebrew Ethical Literature 

With the development of Jewish ethical literature in the 11 th 
century, the story found another major outlet, as well as a 
wide field for its development. Writers of ethical works, try- 
ing to reach as wide a public as possible and educate it ac- 
cording to their own ethical ideology, used every literary 
form which would popularize their works. This desire for a 
wider public made the use of stories, fables, legends, exem- 
pla, hagiographies, anecdotes, epigrams, imperative within 
the framework of ethical literature. As a result, many ethical 
works became treasure houses of all sorts of Hebrew fictional 
writings as well as the different literary genres devoted to the 
story exclusively. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Jewish philosophy, the first movement to develop He- 
brew ethical literature (written mainly in Arabic and later 
translated into Hebrew), contributed little to the development 
of the story. Its authors were hostile toward narrative literary 
forms, going so far as to voice contempt for the narratives in 
the Bible itself. *Bahya b. Joseph ibn Paquda in the preface 
to his Hovot ha-Levavot ("Duties of the Heart"), one of the 
most famous and influential philosophical-ethical works, ex- 
plains that the narratives in the Bible were included by God 
to distinguish between the wise who will disregard them and 
study the wisdom in the Bible, and the fools, who will follow 
the narratives and thus reveal themselves as fools. The attitude 
was widely held by many Jewish medieval intellectuals, and 
even the *Zohar used the same fable that Bahya did to dem- 
onstrate his contempt of the biblical narratives and narrative 
literature in general. 

Despite their hostile attitude, the medieval philosophers 
did use the story, mainly in the form of long and well-devel- 
oped fables and short anecdotes; philosophical-ethical writ- 
ings, therefore, became another means through which the 
body of Jewish literature was enriched with anecdotes, epi- 
grams, and fables. Many of them were taken from Arab philo- 
sophical and moralistic writings whose origin, as often as not, 
was in Indian literature. Views, too radical to be plainly stated, 
were often couched in fables; the wide disparity between the 
fable and the authors explanation served as an indication of 
the real views of the radical thinker. Bahya himself often used 
this method in his work. 

While philosophical-ethical literature did not contribute 
a great deal to the development of the Hebrew story, the two 
other main schools of Jewish medieval thought, the Hasidei 
Ashkenaz and the kabbalists, in their theological and their 
ethical works, were the main outlet for the fictional narrative 
which was to become inherent in popular Jewish culture. 

The Story in Ashkenazi-Hasidic Literature 

The writings of R. *Judah b. Samuel he-Hasid (d. 1217) and 
his disciples, both theological and ethical, are one of the main 
sources of the Hebrew narrative in the Middle Ages. The rea- 
son for this is at least partially theological. The Hasidei Ashke- 
naz believed that God's will and presence were not to be found 
in common phenomena of the everyday world and in laws of 
nature, but in miraculous wonderful happenings, If a Hasid, 
therefore, wanted to learn Gods ways and essence, he had to 
look for unusual phenomena and deduce Gods power from 
them. This attitude, naturally, caused the Hasidei Ashkenaz 
to write down and preserve stories and anecdotes about the 
exceptional, which was to them theological truth. 

Most of these stories have some demonological elements 
and many describe meetings between men and witches, were- 
wolves, demons, spirits, and ghosts. These supernatural pow- 
ers did not represent any evil to the Hasidim; they regarded 
them as a part, though a dangerous and mysterious one, of 
the world created by God. Their theology made the Hasidim 
look for "true" stories which they could believe had actually 

happened. This is the reason that the literary element was 
neglected and most of the stories are "eyewitness" anecdotes. 
Consequently also 12 th - and i3 th -century German demonol- 
ogy is depicted and not traditional Jewish demonology and 
superstition. Many of the stories, told by the Hasidim as short 
anecdotes in the 12 th century, were collected and developed 
700 years later by the Grimm brothers as main stories of Ger- 
man mythology and folklore. 

The second motive for the use of the story in Ashkenazi- 
hasidic literature was the ethical fanaticism of the Hasidim, 
as it is reflected in Sefer Hasidim, the major ethical work of 
Hasidei Ashkenaz. The extreme demands made by the Ash- 
kenazi Hasidim on their followers were demonstrated in hun- 
dreds of exempla in which stories are told about men who 
succeeded in achieving the nigh impossible ethical standards 
set by the hasidic teachers. The latter, in turn, became heroes 
of cycles of legends (see ^Legend; *Hagiography), written in 
the 13 th , 15 th , and 16 th centuries and translated into Yiddish, in 
which supernatural deeds are attributed to them. Some of the 
later hagiographical legends sprang from original Ashkenazi- 
hasidic stories in which the heroes were anonymous. 

Ashkenazi-hasidic ethical literature was one of the main 
influences on later Jewish ethics whose exponents made ex- 
tensive use of Sefer Hasidim and other Ashkenazi-hasidic 
writings. The narratives of the Hasidei Ashkenaz were thus 
preserved long after the movement had died out (late 13 th 
century), and this body of stories became one of the standard 
sources of later Hebrew fictional writing. 

The Narrative in the Kabbalah 

The Kabbalah, which flourished in Provence and Spain in the 
12 th century (reaching its maturity at the end of the 13 th cen- 
tury), developed the medieval Hebrew narrative in three dif- 
ferent forms: 

(1) The hagiography. The teachers of the Kabbalah were 
treated by their disciples and followers as men of God who 
possessed secret knowledge and supernatural powers. Con- 
temporaries of these sages and the following generations cre- 
ated hagiographical cycles of stories about them. The kabbalis- 
tic sages themselves also wrote hagiographies, often attributing 
their works to tannaitic sources, and describing the tannaim 
hagiographically. Works like the *Zohar, Sefer ha- ^Kanah, and 
others include countless stories about the early sages. 

(2) The mythological story. By introducing mythologi- 
cal elements into Jewish theology, the kabbalists opened many 
new possibilities to the Hebrew story (see *Kabbalah). The 
idea that processes in the divine spheres and the war between 
the divine powers of good and evil could be told in a narrative 
manner led the kabbalistic imagination to endow the saintly 
being with power to intervene in the divine spheres. The lit- 
erary genre of the mythological story came to the fore only in 
later centuries, e.g., the story of R. ^Joseph Delia Reina (first 
recorded in 1519, published in 1913), and the stories and leg- 
ends about *Shabbetai Zevi, who was regarded as having di- 
vine power by his believers. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


(3) The mystical story. Mystical elements in the Kabbalah 
led kabbalists to describe their divine revelations and visions, 
through which they acquired mystical knowledge, in narra- 
tive form (see ^Visions). The characteristics of the narrative 
were influenced by the individual kabbalist author: how he 
viewed his experience and his attitude to the form, Kabbalis- 
tic mysticism thus developed the aspect of the individual vi- 
sions in the story. 

The Kabbalah, between the 12 th and 15 th centuries, did 
not try to reach a wide public, and its exponents usually kept 
their knowledge and revelations a secret. Only at the end of 
the 15 th and in the 16 th centuries did the Kabbalah begin to 
reach wider and wider circles in the various Jewish commu- 
nities and, therefore, it is in the later Middle Ages that the 
influence of the Kabbalah on the Hebrew narrative became 
predominant. It is in i6 th -century Jerusalem, Safed, and Italy, 
and i7 th -century Eastern Europe that the kabbalistic story 
came into its own. 

The Hebrew Story in the Italian Renaissance 

The Hebrew story in i6 th -century Italy was influenced not 
only by the spirit of Italian Renaissance art and literature, 
but also by the catastrophe of the expulsion of the Jews 
from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15 th century. 
The combination of these two influences is reflected, for 
instance, in the dialogues found in Shevet Yehudah, a fic- 
tional-historical work by Solomon *Ibn Verga. It is devoted 
mainly to historical descriptions of the various catastrophes 
which befell the Jewish people since the destruction of the 
Temple. The originality of the work lies in the fictional dia- 
logues between Christian kings, bishops, and scholars, some- 
times also involving Jewish scholars and ordinary persons. 
Ibn Vergas views as to the causes of the catastrophes are un- 
usual for his time. He states that the Jews themselves are to 
blame for their misfortunes which occurred because of their 
arrogance, fanaticism, and intolerance. The shock of the ex- 
pulsion is fused here with the spirit of tolerance of the Re- 
naissance to produce a work whose views were not again to 
come to the fore before the i9 th -century Reform movement 
in Judaism. 

The shock of the disaster of Spanish Jewry gave birth to 
messianic literature; the most famous examples are the auto- 
biography of David *Re , uveni who styled himself as an emis- 
sary of the Lost Ten Tribes to the Pope and kings of Europe, 
and the autobiographical sketches and kabbalistic visions of 
Solomon *Molcho who felt that it was his destiny to announce 
the coming of the Messiah. Many more messianic stories were 
written in that period. 

One of the most important literary contributions of the 
period to the Hebrew story was the art of autobiography (see 
^Biography and Autobiography). Hayyei Yehudah by Leone 
*Modena is one of the most intimate and revealing autobiog- 
raphies written in Hebrew during the Middle Ages. Abraham 
*Jagel (Caliko) in one of the stories in Gei Hizzayon ("The Val- 
ley of Vision") relates how the spirit of his dead father visited 

him in prison and took him to the heavenly spheres. On their 
way, father and son met many spirits, good and wicked, who 
told their stories, and Abraham also told what had happened 
to him after his fathers death. This literary form bears the 
mark of the Italian novella of that age, and the stories them- 
selves were only slightly Judaized. 

This period is marked by two conflicting developments 
in the Hebrew narrative. On the one hand, there is a closer 
connection and mutual influence between Hebrew and Ital- 
ian cultures which benefited the Hebrew story. On the other 
hand, the Jewish situation of the time caused the Hebrew story 
to reflect the growing messianic hopes, resulting in a tendency 
toward isolation from outer influences. The Hebrew story thus 
came to express the emotions and tensions of a people torn 
between catastrophe and messianic hope. 

The Hebrew Story in Palestine in the 16 th Century 

Concurrent with the Hebrew renaissance in literature in 
Italy, there was a Jewish literary and mystic renaissance in 
Palestine, especially in Safed. Kabbalistic thought, which 
prevailed in Safed at the time, filled the hearts of almost all 
the Jewish scholars with messianic expectations. At the be- 
ginning of the 16 th century, from Jerusalem, came the first 
version of the story of Joseph Delia Reina who tried to bring 
about the redemption through magic and Kabbalah. Here 
attention was focused on Nevuat ha-Yeled ("The Prophecy 
of the Child" in Jacob Hayyim Zemahs Nagid u-Mezavveh, 
Constantinople, 1726), a story about a wonder child who 
revealed in obscure Aramaic prophecies the time of the re- 

In Safed, stories were told about various sages who had 
performed unusual deeds and undergone all kinds of torture, 
in order to repent for the sins of all Israel, and in this way has- 
ten the coming of the Messiah. In Safed also appeared R. Isaac 
*Luria whose teachings revolutionized the Kabbalah and gave 
it messianic direction; there the first body of hagiographical 
stories, preserved in various versions (see *Hagiography, *To- 
ledot ha-Ari), was created around Isaac Luria and his school; 
and there Lurias foremost pupil, R. Hayyim * Vital, wrote his 
Sefer ha-Hezyonot ("Book of Visions") in which he describes 
his dreams of glory, believing Luria to be the Messiah who was 
to be a descendant of Joseph, and himself, the Messiah who 
was to be a descendant of David. 

Many other kabbalists and non -kabbalists contributed 
to the development of the Hebrew story in Palestine at this 
period, At the beginning of the 17 th century, their works be- 
gan to spread to Eastern Europe, where most of the Jews and 
most of the more important communities were then located. 
Unlike the Hebrew literature of the Italian Renaissance, the 
literature of Safed had an enormous influence in shaping the 
culture of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. There- 
fore, the further development of the Hebrew story in the 17 th 
and 18 th centuries was a direct continuation of the Safed re- 
vival and not of the new forms supplied by the Hebrew renais- 
sance literature in Italy. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



The Hebrew Story in the 17 th and 18 th Centuries 
Two major processes paved the way for the development of 
the Hebrew narrative in this period. The first was the spread- 
ing of the Lurianic Kabbalah throughout the Jewish world; 
the hagiographical cycle of stories woven around Luria was 
repeated in many versions, in many works, with similar sto- 
ries told about other sages, most of them kabbalists. The sec- 
ond was the Shabbatean movement, which, although it did 
not produce much narrative literature, did lay the founda- 
tions for a new kind of legend: the messianic legend about 
Shabbetai Zevi who had styled himself as the Messiah. Some 
legendary biographies of Shabbetai Zevi and his prophet, Na- 
than of Gaza, were preserved, but there was probably much 
more narrative material which was either lost or suppressed 
by the opponents of Shabbeteanism. This had some delayed 
influence on hasidic literature. 

Another change marking the development of the He- 
brew story in Eastern Europe in this period was the wider 
use of Yiddish which had become the spoken, and often the 
written, language of the Jews. While sacred works in the field 
of halakhah and Kabbalah were always written in Hebrew, 
popular works, like stories and ethical literature, were either 
written only in Yiddish, or in Hebrew with a Yiddish transla- 
tion. From this period on, it is impossible to distinguish be- 
tween the development of Hebrew and Yiddish stories. Many 
originally Hebrew stories were written down in Yiddish, and 
many popular stories, which were told in Yiddish, were writ- 
ten down in Hebrew. 

The wide use of printing also affected the field of nar- 
rative literature, and old and new stories were collected and 
published in small booklets and sometimes in larger collec- 
tions. Attempts to collect medieval stories have been made 
by scholars in the East and West. Hayyim Joseph David Azu- 
lai, an eastern rabbi, wrote down and compiled the stories he 
had heard throughout his long life and wide travels. Unfor- 
tunately, he usually gave only a short description of the story 
and seldom went into details. Other eastern rabbis in the 
18 th and early 19 th centuries collected hundreds of medieval 
stories; these, however, have remained in manuscripts until 
this very day. In the West, collections of stories were published 
more often; the largest and most important of them being the 
Oseh Pele ("Wonder Worker"). Modern scholars have taken 
an interest in this rich mine of narrative literature, and the 
greatest modern collection, which includes also a full bibliog- 
raphy of earlier collections, is M.J. Berdyczewskis Mi-Mekor 
Yisrael (1966 2 ). 

The Hasidic Story 

The Hebrew narrative in its medieval form continued to de- 
velop in the modern period. Haskalah literature did not serve 
as a substitute for continued creative effort in the old types 
and forms of Hebrew narrative writing; on the contrary - the 
Hebrew story, in its medieval form, reached its zenith with 
the emergence of Haskalah literature. This phenomenon is 
due to the modern hasidic movement, founded by ^Israel 

Baal Shem Tov (late 18 th century) from which the medieval 
narrative drew new life. 

Though Hasidism began much earlier, hasidic narrative 
literature as a written art came to the fore only at the begin- 
ning of the 19 th century when *Shivhei ha-Besht and the sto- 
ries of R. *Nahman of Bratslav were published (Berdichev, 
1815). Later, hundreds of hasidic tales were compiled and 
published. They very often included not only hasidic material 
but also stories about medieval sages. The sanctity accorded 
to the story in hasidic life and ideology helped to preserve not 
only the hasidic story itself, but countless medieval narratives 
which would have been lost had the authors of hasidic nar- 
rative anthologies not looked for them and saved them from 
oblivion. The hasidic narrative and the medieval stories that 
were drawn into the body of hasidic literature did not use the 
wide range of literary forms which came into being in the 
Middle Ages and have been described above. The modern 
form almost exclusively belongs to the field of hagiography, 
and the stories were sometimes used as exempla. The other 
literary forms ceased to be a vehicle of expression; their place 
and possible development in Hebrew literature form part of 
the history of modern Hebrew literature, and not hasidic lit- 
erature. For later developments see ^Hebrew Literature. 

bibliography: M.J. Bin Gorion (Berdyczewski), Die Sagen 
derjuden (1962 2 ); J. Dan, Torat ha-Sod shel Hasidut Ashkenaz (1968), 
184-202, 265-7 (incl. bibl.); idem, in: Molad, 23 (1965), 490-6; idem, 
in: Tarbiz, 30 (1961/62), 273-89; idem, in: Zion, 26 (1961/62), 132-7; 
idem, in: paajr, 35 (1967), 99-111; G. Scholem, On the Kabbalah and 
Its Symbolism (1965), 158-204; Zinberg, Sifrut, vols. 1-3; I. Tishby, 
Mishnat ha-Zohar, 1 (1957 2 ), 1-98; J. Even-Shemuel (Kaufmann), 
Midreshei Geullah (1954); Kitvei Rabbi Avraham Epstein, 1 (1950), 
1-209, 357~9°; A.M. Habermann, in: Tarbiz, 27 (1957/58), 190-202; J.L. 
Zlotnik, in: Sinai, 18 (1946), 49-58; F. Baer, in: Sefer Dinaburg (1949), 
178-205; D. Flusser, in: Zion, 18 (1952/53), 109-26; idem, in: Tarbiz, 
26 (1956/57), 165-184; L. Ginzberg, Al Halakhah ve-Aggadah (i960), 
205-62; M. Guedemann, Ha-Torah ve-ha-Hayyim be-Zarefat u-ve- 
Ashkenaz (1968 2 ), 157-81; Y. Raphael, in: Aresheth, 2 (i960), 358-77; 
3 (1961), 44of. (Shivhei ha-Besht, incl. bibl.). add. bibliography: 
J. Dan, Ha-Sippur ha-Ivri bi-Yemei ha-Beinayim: iyyunim be-Toldotav 
(1974); idem, Ha-Sippur ha-Hasidi (1975); A. Alba, Midrds de los Diez 
Mandamientos y Libro precioso de la Salvacion (1989); idem, Cuentos 
de los rabinos (1991). 

[Joseph Dan] 

FIEDLER, ARTHUR (1894-1979), conductor and violinist. 
Fiedler was born in Boston, where his father was a violinist 
with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Violinists or "fiedlers" 
had been in the family for three generations. As a boy, he stud- 
ied the violin, the piano, and conducting at the Hochschule 
fuer Musik, Berlin. He made his debut there at 17 as a violin- 
ist, but returned to the U.S. on the outbreak of World War 1 
and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a viola player. 
In 1924 he founded the Boston Sinfonietta, an orchestra of 22 
players. From 1929 he organized the successful outdoor series 
of Esplanade Concerts at Boston. A year later (1930), he was 
appointed conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, which 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


he directed until his death. Fiedler extended the orchestral 
repertory to include show-tune medleys and arrangements 
of popular songs in a variety of styles, which brought him a 
wide reputation at home and abroad. From 1957 he also made 
international appearances as a guest conductor. 

bibliography: Grove online; R. Moore: Fiedler, the Color- 
ful Mr. Pops (1968), incl. discography; H.E. Dickson: Arthur Fiedler 
and the Boston Pops (1981). 

[Israela Stein (2 nd ed.)] 

FIEDLER, LESLIE AARON (1917-2003), U.S. author and 
critic. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Fiedler taught at the Uni- 
versity of Montana (1941-64) and, from 1965, was professor 
of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He 
wrote books of short stories, such as Pull Down Vanity (1962), 
and novels, including The Second Stone (1963), Back to China 
(1965), and The Last Jew in America (1966). He is however, 
best known for his literary studies and critical essays, which 
include a contribution to Leaves of Grass: 100 Years After (ed. 
by M. Hindus, 1955), in honor of Walt Whitman; an edition 
of Simone *WeiPs Waiting for God (1959); The Art of the Essay 
(1969); Love and Death in the American Novel (i960); a con- 
tribution to The Continuing Deb ate (1964); and various articles 
in Encounter, Preuves, and Partisan Review. Fiedler tended to 
regard a literary work as the expression of an authors psycho- 
sexual desires, minimizing the importance of its structure and 
linguistic texture. Though not at first prominent in his works, 
Jewish themes played an increasing part in Fiedlers writing, 
notably in his Image of the Jew in American Fiction (1959) and 
The Jew in the American Novel (1966 2 ), where he saw the Jew 
as the eternal alien and dissenter. Fiedler on the Roof: Essays 
on Literature and Jewish Identity appeared in 1991. Nude Cro- 
quet (1969), a volume of collected stories, is a bleak, guilt-rid- 
den anthology, including much of Jewish interest. Fiedler was 
active in American-Jewish life. 

bibliography: Bellman, in: Congress Bi-Weekly (Dec. 21, 
1964), 10-12; Goodheart, in: Midstream, 7 no. 2 (1961), 94-100; Kostel- 
anetz, ibid., 9 no. 3 (1963), 93-97; Chase, in: Chicago Review, 14 (Au- 
tumn-Winter i960), 8-18; Whalen, in: Northwest Review, 9 (Spring 
1968), 67-73. add. bibliography: S. Kellmanandl. Malin (eds.) 
Leslie Fiedler and American Culture (1999). 

[Milton Henry Hindus] 

FIELDS, DOROTHY (1904-1974), U.S. lyricist and libret- 
tist. Born in Allenhurst, New Jersey, Fields was the youngest 
of four children of the famous comedian Lew Fields. She and 
her two brothers, Herbert and Joseph, became writers in the 
entertainment field. In the 1920s Fields began a songwriting 
partnership with composer Jimmy McHugh that lasted al- 
most a decade. Their first songs were written for shows per- 
formed at the famous Harlem night spot, the Cotton Club. 
Their greatest stage hit was Blackbirds of 1928, one of the lon- 
gest-running Broadway shows with an all-black cast. In 1929 
Fields and McHugh moved to Hollywood. Their most popu- 
lar songs included "I Cant Give You Anything But Love" and 

"On the Sunny Side of the Street," both written for Broadway 
revues, and "Don't Blame Me" and "I'm In the Mood for Love," 
written for Hollywood films. In Hollywood in the 1930s Fields 
began working with other composers including Oscar ^Le- 
vant and Fritz *Kreisler. Her favorite collaborator, and close 
friend, was Jerome *Kern. Kern and Fields wrote the scores 
for The Joy of Living, I Dream Too Much, and her best movie 
musical, Swingtime, which included the song, "The Way You 
Look Tonight," for which Kern and Fields won an Academy 
Award in 1936. In the 1940s, in collaboration with her brother 
Henry, Fields produced the books for four Broadway hits, Let's 
Face It, Something for the Boys, and Mexican Hayride, which 
had songs by Cole Porter, and Annie Get Your Gun, which 
had songs by Irving Berlin. Other composers with whom she 
worked included Sigmund ^Romberg, Arthur Schwartz, Mor- 
ton *Gould, Albert Hague, Harold *Arlen, and Harry War- 
ren. After the deaths of her husband and her brother Herbert 
in 1958, Fields stopped writing for more than five years. She 
bounced back with one of her most popular stage plays, Sweet 
Charity, written with Cy *Coleman in 1966. Her final work, 
also written with Coleman, was Seesaw. 

Fields won the Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award in 1959 
for her work on Redhead and was elected as an inaugural 
member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971. Unlike ear- 
lier female lyricists, who worked in the field of operetta and 
tended to write songs of elevated sentiments, Dorothy Fields 
showed from the start a gift for the vernacular and an ear for 
the most up-to-date speech and slang. She is admired for her 
meticulous craftsmanship and her ability to combine clear- 
eyed sentiment with humor. 

bibliography: D.G. Winer, On the Sunny Side of the Street: 
The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields (1997). 

[Charlotte Greenspan (2 nd ed.)] 

FIELDS, JACKIE (Jacob (Yonkel) Finkelstein; 1908-1987), 
U.S. welterweight boxing champion 1929-30 and 1932-33, 
featherweight Olympic Gold Medal winner, member of the 
Boxing Hall of Fame. Fields was born and raised in a Jewish 
neighborhood in Chicago, "where you had to fight your way to 
the swimming pool because the Italians, the Polish, the Irish, 
the Lithuanians were there." He began fighting at 14 at the 
Henry Booth Settlement House under the tutelage of one-time 
featherweight fighter Marty Fields, whose name he eventually 
adopted. After Fields' father, Morris, a butcher, contracted tu- 
berculosis, the family moved to Los Angeles. Fields won 51 of 
54 amateur bouts, and captured the Olympic Featherweight 
Gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games at age 16, the youngest 
man ever to win an Olympic boxing crown. His first pro fight 
was February 2, 1925, and seven fights later, on November 12, 
1925, Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin knocked him out in the 
second round, the only time Fields was stopped by a ko. 

Fields won the National Boxing Association (nba) Wel- 
terweight Championship on March 25, 1929, with a decision 
over Young Jack Thompson. Four months later, on July 25, he 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



captured the unified world championship against Joe Dundee. 
The defending champion was knocked down five times in the 
second round, and was then disqualified after crawling on his 
hands and knees across the ring and punching Fields full-force 
in the groin, knocking him out. Thus Fields became the only 
fighter to ever win a title while flat on his back. 

Fields lost the world title to Thompson on May 9, 1930, 
but regained it a second time on January 28, 1932, with a de- 
cision over Lou Brouillard, who had taken the crown from 
Thompson. He lost the title to Young Corbett 111 on Febru- 
ary 22, 1933, and retired after one more fight, having lost his 
vision in one eye in an automobile accident a year earlier. 
Widely regarded as scientific boxer with tremendous stam- 
ina and a solid punch, Fields' record was 72 (30 ko's)-9-2. In 
1965, Fields coached the U.S. boxing team at the Maccabiah 

Games in Israel. 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

FIG (Heb. niXJI, teenah), one of the seven species with which 
Erez Israel was blessed (Deut. 8:8). It is mentioned in the Bible 
16 times together with the vine as the most important of the 
country's fruit. The saying "every man under his vine and 
under his fig tree" depicts an era of peace and security in the 
past and the vision of an ideal future (1 Kings 5:5; Micah 4:4; 
cf. Joel 2:22). On the other hand the prophets repeatedly warn 
against the destruction of the vines and the fig trees (Jer. 5:17; 
8:13; Hos. 2:12; Hab. 3:17). The fig is also mentioned as a cura- 
tive. A fig compress (develah) was used by Isaiah in the cure 
of King Hezekiah (11 Kings 20:7; Isa. 38:21). 

The cultivation of the fig in Erez Israel goes back to very 
early times. Excavations at Gezer have uncovered remains of 
dried figs from the Neolithic Age, while an ancient Egyptian 
inscription refers to the destruction of the country's fig trees 
by its conquerors (Jeremias, Alte Test, 139). The spread of the 
fig in Erez Israel is attested by place-names associated with 
the word teenah or develah. The fig served as a basic food, 
possessing a high nutritional value, largely by virtue of its 
honey. The expressions "honey out of the crag" (Deut. 32:13) 
and "honey out of the rock" (Ps. 81:17) apparently refer to the 
honey of figs, the trees of which grow in rocky places (cf. Yal., 
Va-Era, 184). Similarly, the sages identify "honey" in the pas- 
sage "a land flowing with milk and honey" with the honey of 
figs (Ket. 111b). 

The fig tree sheds its leaves in winter, at the end of which, 
even before the tree is covered with leaves, the paggim ("green 
figs," Song 2:13) begin to develop in the form of small fruits, 
which are really tiny flowers covered with a soft skin, and 
which continue to grow during the summer months. Hosea 
(9:10) compared the young nation of Israel in the heyday of 
its glory to bakkurot ("first-ripe figs"), which are delicious 
and eagerly sought after (Isa. 28:4; Jer, 24:2). Not all the pag- 
gim reach the ripened stage, some falling offor withering (Isa. 
34:4). Figs that ripen at the end of summer have an inferior 
taste (Micah 7:1), as do those that burst when overripe (Jer. 
29:17). Figs were dried in the sun and were either left whole 

or cut up and pressed (develah, 1 Sam., 25:18; 1 Chron. 12:40). 
The word kayiz (11 Sam. 16:1-2; Jer., 40:10, 12), which may re- 
fer to summer fruits as a whole, signifies primarily dried figs 
(cf. Isa. 16:9; Tosef., Ned. 4:1-2). 

The importance of the fig in mishnaic and talmudic 
times is evidenced by the fact that more than 70 expressions 
connected with the fig occur in the literature of the period. 
Various strains of fig are mentioned: white and black (Ter. 
4:8); those that ripen early and those that ripen late (ibid., 
4:6; Shev, 9:4), The paggim of certain strains were pierced or 
smeared with oil to make them ripen early (ibid., 2:5). Other 
strains required caprification: to ensure the pollination of the 
fruit, branches bearing the fruit of the wild fig (Ficus carica 
caprificus) were hung up on the trees. These were infested 
with insects, which alone can pollinate the fruit of the culti- 
vated fig (Ficus carica domestica; cf. Tosef., ibid., 1:9; tj, ibid., 

4H, 35b). 

At present, fig trees are cultivated in Erez Israel mainly 
by Arabs, their economic value being limited in modern Jew- 
ish agriculture in that their fruit, not ripening simultaneously, 
must be picked almost daily by many hands (Num. R. 12:9). 
The fig tree has many branches, large leaves, and widely spread 
boughs. Large, shady fig trees are to be found in Israel, espe- 
cially on the banks of streams and near springs, and are among 
the most beautiful trees in the country. The fig figures promi- 
nently in the aggadah, the consensus, on the basis of Genesis 
3:7, being that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil 
was a fig tree (Ber. 40a; Gen, R. 15:7). 

bibliography: E Goldmann, in: rej, 62 (1911), 216-32; Loew, 
Flora, 1 (1928), 224rT.; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikrai (1957), 
33-39. add bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Zomeah 167. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FIGO (Picho), AZARIAH (1579-1647), Italian rabbi and 
preacher, born in Venice. In his youth he devoted himself 
largely to secular studies, but later, regretting the time he had 
spent "loving the handmaiden" and "neglecting the mistress," 
he applied himself wholly to rabbinic studies. At the age of 
28, he was appointed rabbi of Pisa. There he wrote Giddulei 
Terumah (Venice, 1643), a casuistic commentary on the Sefer 
ha-Terumot of Samuel *Sardi. After the burning of the Talmud 
in 1553, copies were very scarce, and when Figo wrote his book 
he possessed only the tractates Bava Kamma, Shevubt, and 
Nazir and had to borrow the other tractates from the neigh- 
boring communities. He completed the book in Venice, where 
he returned in 1627, and became preacher to the Sephardi com- 
munity. Figo leaned toward a strict interpretation of Jewish 
law. He opposed the establishment of a theater in the ghetto 
of Venice and criticized the members of his community for 
usury, flaunting their wealth, internecine wrangling, laxity in 
ritual observances, and sexual irregularities, Figo was active 
in redeeming Jewish captives, and defended the Marranos, 
declaring them to be Jews. His most important work is his 
Binah le-Ittim (Venice (?), 1648), a collection of sermons de- 
livered in Venice. They are based on the festivals and fasts of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the Jewish calendar, and also include sermons based on Avot 
on such topics as charity and education. Since its first publi- 
cation it has been reprinted 50 times. Some of his responsa 
are found in the Devar Shemuel (1702) of Samuel Aboab. Figo 
died in Rovigo. 

On his homiletical works, see *Homiletics. 

bibliography: A. Appelbaum, Azariah Figo (Heb., 1907); 
Bettan, in: huca, 7 (1930), 457-95; M. Szulwas, Hayyei ha-Yehudi 
be-Italyah bi-Tekufat ha-Renaissance (1955), index; H.R. Rabinowitz, 
Deyokenabt shel Darshanim (1967), 150-8. 

[Chayim Reuven Rabinowitz] 

FILDERMAN, WILHELM (1882-1963), Romanian Jewish 
leader. Born in Bucharest, in 1909 Filderman became a doc- 
tor of law in Paris. He returned to Romania and after teach- 
ing for two years at the high school of the Jewish community 
of Bucharest, started his law practice in 1912. In 1913 he was 
elected to the central committee of the Union of Romanian 
Jews. Filderman was an officer in the Romanian army during 
World War 1 and after the war became the acting leader of the 
Union of Romanian Jews. At the Versailles Peace Conference 
he was a member of the *Comite des Delegations Juives. He 
demanded the total emancipation of the Jews as an inalien- 
able right and the inclusion of this principle in the peace treaty 
with Romania. 

In 1920 Filderman became the representative of the 
^American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (jdc) in 
Romania and in 1923 was elected president of the Union of 
Romanian Jews. Between the two world wars, he fought an- 
tisemitism, and worked for the effective realization of full 
citizenship for the Jews. Filderman also published a number 
of books against antisemitism. He was opposed to a national 
Jewish policy and a separate Jewish party. In 1927 Filder- 
man was elected a member of the Romanian parliament on 
the Liberal Party list. He was also the president of the Jewish 
community of Bucharest (1931-33), and in the same period 
he became president of the Federation of Jewish Communi- 
ties. In 1937, during the period of King Carol us dictatorial 
reign, when all political groups were dissolved, the Federa- 
tion of Communities also took over the functions of the po- 
litical representation of the Jews, When the enlarged ^Jewish 
Agency was constituted (1929), he was elected by the Federa- 
tion of Communities as a non-Zionist delegate to its found- 
ing congress in Zurich. 

After September 1940, when Ion *Antonescu took over 
the leadership of the country, Filderman intervened with him 
as a representative of the Federation, several times obtaining 
the revocation of serious measures, such as the wearing of 
the yellow badge, the deportation of Romanian Jews to Nazi 
camps in Poland, etc. At the beginning of 1942 the Federation 
of Communities was dissolved. Although Filderman no longer 
had an official status, he continued to address personal memo- 
randa to the Romanian authorities denouncing the racial mea- 
sures. He was a member of the underground Jewish Council, 
formed of representatives of the principal Jewish trends, When 

he expressed his opposition to the special tax of four billion lei 
demanded of Romanian Jewry by the Antonescu regime, he 
was sent to *Transnistria (March 1943), returning after three 
months through the intervention of the papal nuncio and the 
Swiss and Swedish ambassadors. Back in Bucharest, he imme- 
diately reported to the Romanian government on the terrible 
situation of the deportees in Transnistria and asked for their 
return, which was obtained at the end of the same year. 

After the war, he again became president of the Federa- 
tion of Communities and of the Union of Romanian Jews 
and representative of the jdc, Soon afterward, however, he 
came into conflict with the Jewish Communists, who wanted 
the Jewish institutions to affiliate with their party's policy. As 
a result of their instigations, Filderman was arrested in 1945 
and liberated only after a five-day hunger strike. Afterward he 
was kept under house arrest for three weeks. He was increas- 
ingly attacked in the Communist press. In 1948 he secretly 
left Romania, after being informed that he would once again 
be arrested (this time on charges of spying for Britain), and 
settled in Paris. According to his will, his archives were trans- 
ferred to Yad Vashem. 

Filderman wrote Adevurul asupra problemei Evreesti 
din Romania, in lumina textelor religioase si a stasticii ("The 
Truth on the Jewish Problem in Romania, in the Light of Re- 
ligious Texts and Statistics," 1925), Le probleme du travail na- 
tional et la crise du barreau en Roumanie (1937), and Manuila 
Sabin; Regional Development of the Jewish Population in Ru- 
mania (1957). 

bibliography: Curierul Israelit (Oct. 30, 1932); T. Lavi, in: 
Yad Vashem Studies, 4 (1960), 261-316. 

[Theodor Lavi] 

FILENE, family of entrepreneurs, social reformers, and phi- 
lanthropists in Boston. Progenitor of the family in America 
was william filene (1830-?) who emigrated to the United 
States after the German revolution of 1848, and became owner 
of two stores in Lynn, Mass. In 1881 William Filene founded 
William Filenes Sons Company, a department store, in Bos- 
ton. He turned over control of his stores to his sons in 1890, 
and together they built a multimillion-dollar merchandis- 
ing empire. EDWARD ALBERT. (1860-1937) and A. LINCOLN 

filene (1865-1957) were innovators in merchandising tech- 
niques and employer-employee relations. They introduced the 
idea of the "bargain basement" where goods were sold at re- 
duced prices. They pioneered in establishing minimum wage 
scales for female employees, employee welfare plans, paid win- 
ter vacations for employees, employee purchasing discounts, 
profit sharing, health clinics, insurance programs, and credit 
unions, Filenes was the first department store in Boston to 
establish a five-day, 40 -hour week. 

Edward Filene was born in Salem, Mass. Entering his 
fathers dry goods business in 1880, he became president of 
Filenes department store in 1908. He was a leading member 
of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, which he helped or- 
ganize; later he was a founder of the United States Chamber 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



of Commerce and the International Chamber of Commerce. 
As chairman of Boston's Committee on Industrial Relations, 
Edward played a pivotal role in the passage of Massachusetts' 
first workmen's compensation law in 1911, the first form of 
institutionalized social insurance in the United States. Ed- 
ward believed that cooperative private enterprise and higher 
wages were necessary to raise consumer purchasing power 
and thereby avert economic depressions. He favored paying 
workers a "buying" wage instead of a near-subsistence "living" 
wage, In 1909 he secured enactment of the first credit union 
law in America in Massachusetts. In 1934 he organized the 
Credit Union National Association and donated $1,000,000 
for its work, He also gave $1,000,000 to the Consumers Dis- 
tribution Corporation to organize a national chain of coop- 
erative retail stores. Throughout his life Edward took an ac- 
tive part in the world peace movement. In 1915 he joined the 
League to Enforce the Peace. After World War 1 he backed the 
League of Nations. In 1919 he founded the Twentieth Century 
Fund, which conducts investigations of social and economic 
problems with an emphasis on finding solutions. He wrote 
Speaking of Change (1939). 

A. Lincoln Filene was born in Boston. He became trea- 
surer and chairman of the board of Filene's in 1941, and was 
long active in civic and communal affairs, Lincoln believed 
that mass purchasing by department stores, and research to 
improve their efficiency, would benefit the consumer by allow- 
ing lower prices. He himself was a leader in the development 
of scientific methods of retail store management. In 1937 he 
established the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation, which 
funded the first educational television station in Boston in 
1955. Lincoln Filene wrote Merchants' Horizon (1924). 

Both brothers were social reformers who believed that 
capitalism had to operate more efficiently to avert radical re- 
forms and advance the welfare of the individual. Both Ed- 
ward and Lincoln Filene actively backed President Franklin 
D. Roosevelt's New Deal. At a time when most American em- 
ployers attacked Roosevelt for being too radical, the Filene 
brothers helped prevent a complete split between the presi- 
dent and the business community. 

bibliography: G.W. Johnson, Liberal's Progress (1948); Filler, 

in: dab, supplement, 2 (1958), 183-5. 

[Robert Asher] 

FILIPOWSKI, ZEVI HIRSCH (Herschell Philip; 1816- 
1872), Hebraist, editor, actuary, and mathematician. Born in 
Virbalis, Lithuania, Filipowski was instructed secretly by a 
Polish schoolteacher in mathematics and languages. In 1839 he 
emigrated to London, where he taught at a Jewish school while 
continuing his studies. Filipowski's first work, Mo'ed Mo'adim 
(1846), deals with the various calendars of the Jews, Karaites, 
Christians, and Muslims. He was the editor of the Hebrew 
annual Ha-Asif (2 vols., London, Leipzig, 1847-49), to which 
he contributed essays on Hebrew literature and mathematics. 
Later Filipowski, while working as an actuary in Edinburgh, 
pursued his interest in mathematics, publishing Anti-Loga- 

rithms in 1849. In addition, he translated Napier's Canon of 
Logarithms from Latin into English (1857) and edited Baily's 
Doctrine of Life Annuities and Assurance (1864-66). In 1851 
Filipowski founded a Jewish antiquarian society, "Me'orerei 
Yeshenim" (a forerunner of the *Mekize Nirdamim), for the 
purpose of publishing medieval Hebrew texts. Among the 
important works which he edited and published for the soci- 
ety (in type designed by himself) are Solomon ibn Gabirol's 
Mivhar ha-Peninim, Abraham b. Hiyya's Sod ha-Lbbur (1851), 
Azariah dei Rossi's Mazref la-Kesef (from the author's own 
manuscript), Menahem ibn Saruq's Mahberet (1854), Dunash 
b. Lab rat's criticism of Saruq's work (1855), and Abraham Zacu- 
to's Sefer Yuhasin ha-Shalem (1857). This edition of the Yuhasin 
is still the best available; it was reissued by A. Freimann with 
an introduction, indices, etc. (Frankfurt, 1924; Jerusalem, 
1963). In 1862 Filipowski printed a pocket edition of the prayer 
book, including his own English translation, for which he de- 
signed a special Hebrew type in which the vocalization is at- 
tached to the letters. In 1867 he founded the Hebrew National 
but the journal ceased publication after six months. His last 
work was a pamphlet called Biblical Prophecies (1870) discuss- 
ing the Jewish view of prophecy and messianism. 

bibliography: Goldberg, in: Ha-Maggid, 16 (1872), 5306°. 
(repr. in: Beit Ozar ha-Sifrut, 1 (1887), Ozar ha-Hokhmah section, 
72-74); Fuerst, Bibliotheca, 3 (1863), 85; Zeitlin, Bibliotheca, 83-85. 

FILLER, LOUIS (1911-1998), U.S. historian. Born in Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, Filler served as a research historian for the 
American Council of Learned Societies (1942-44), and as a 
historian for the War Department (1944-46). He joined the 
faculty of Antioch College, where he was appointed professor 
of American civilization in 1946. He was a fellow of the Social 
Science Research Council and American Council of Learned 
Societies (1953-54). 

Filler's major work was in the field of American reform 
movements and cultural developments. Among his works 
are Crusaders for American Liberalism (1939, 1964), Randolph 
Bourne (1943), The Crusade against Slavery, 1830-1860 (i960), 
A Dictionary of American Social Reform (1963), The Unknown 
Edwin Markham (1967), Appointment at Armageddon: Muck- 
raking & Progressivism in American Life (1976), Vanguards & 
Followers: Youth in the American Tradition (1978), The Rise & 
Fall of Slavery in America (1980), A Dictionary of American 
Social Change (1982), Dictionary of American Conservatism 
(1987), Distinguished Shades: Americans Whose Lives Live On 
(1992), The Muckrakers (1993), American Anxieties: A Collec- 
tive Portrait of the 1930s (1993), Muckraking and Progressivism 
in the American Tradition (1996), and Slavery in the United 
States (1998). In 1961 he received the Ohioana Book Award in 
nonfiction for Crusade against Slavery. 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FIMA (Reuytenberg), EFRAIM (1916- ), painter. Fima was 
born into a Russian Jewish family in Harbin, China. His fa- 
ther, Alexander, had left Russia in 1904 with his wife, Sofia 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Fishman. In 1934 Fima moved to Shanghai, where he started 
to learn painting in izo, a Russian Academy of Art. He also 
began to study Chinese calligraphy and became passionately 
interested in Chinese philosophy. Fima immigrated to Israel 
in 1949. The revelation of the other side of the world and the 
exposure to Israel induced a period of doubt. Fima destroyed 
most of the canvases he had created up to that point. As with 
immigrants, he experienced difficulties. His working condi- 
tions were poor and he painted during the night. He married 
twice and in both cases the marriage ended in divorce. In 1958, 
after some one-man exhibitions in Israel, he began to sign his 
name Fima, shortening his Russian first name Yafim. In 1961 
Fima and his wife Rama settled in Paris, coming to visit in 
Israel from time to time. After Rama's death he married Kaa- 
rina Jokinen in 1967. He had many exhibitions in Israel and in 
the United States and he taught at Haifa University. He lived 
and worked in Jerusalem and Paris. 

The typical style of Fima was Abstraction. His paintings 
recall Abstract Expressionism and the Geometric Abstract 
but a closer examination of his works reveals that Fima is not 
interested in intellectual analysis. His outlines are not sharply 
defined, but are rather soft, misty, hazy and fluid. It seems to 
have been influenced by Chinese Taoism (Red Calligraphy, 
1962, Israel Museum, Jerusalem). 

When Fima focused on an object, whether it was a por- 
trait, a flower, or beards, he described it in a general way with 
a background of one color. Nonetheless, the objects are vivid 
and appear in characteristic attitudes (Self Portrait > 1980, pri- 
vate collection). 

The international influence on Fima's painting overshad- 
ows his Israeli Identity. Fima pointed out that only when he 
traveled on the canvas did he feel at home. 

bibliography: Haifa, Mane-Katz Museum, Fima - Shang- 
hai Jerusalem Paris Jerusalem Works on Paper 1930-1990 (1998); Tel 
Aviv, Bineth Gallery, Fima (1990). 

[Ronit Steinberg (2 nd ed.)] 

FINALE EMILIA, town near Modena, north-central Italy. 
Jews settled there in 1541 or even earlier; at first they were 
moneylenders but later they engaged in commerce in brandy 
and feed or in small industry, one of them producing mercury 
chloride from 1678. A first synagogue already existed in 1600 
and another one was erected in 1630 (restored in 1839), and in 
the 1620s there was already an active Gemilut Hasadim con- 
fraternity. It was only in 1736 that the Jews were confined in 
a ghetto, where 201 Jews lived in 1799. Although there were 
162 Jews still living in Finale in 1854, the community as such 
gradually dissolved between the 19 th and 20 th centuries. In the 
1880s the commercial importance of Finale diminished and 
many families left and moved to other cities. The community 
was revived as a private association in 1878, but by then num- 
bered only 50 members and before long ceased to exist. In the 
1920s eight families lived in Finale and the Jewish community 
was attached to the Jewish community of Modena. In 1932 
the synagogue was closed. The community of Finale died out 

completely in the second half of 20 th century. In the 1990s the 
ancient cemetery with the most ancient tombstone from 1584 
was completely restored by the Municipality and the Jewish 
community of Modena. 

bibliography: Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, index; Cam- 
meo, in: Vessillo Israelitico y 42 (1894), 223-6, 257-9, 2.91—3; Servi, in: 
Corriere Israelitico, 10 (1871/72), 46-49. add. bibliography: A. 
Masina, La comunita ebraica a Finale nel Seicento (1988); M.P. Bal- 
boni, Lantico cimitero ebraico di Finale Emilia (1996). 

[Attilio Milano / Federica Francesconi (2 nd ed.)] 

FINAL SOLUTION (of the Jewish question; Ger. "Endlo- 
sung der Judenfrage"), the Nazi plan for the extermination 
of the Jews. Rooted in i9 th -century antisemitic discourse on 
the "Jewish question," "Final Solution" as a Nazi cover term 
denotes the last stage in the evolution of the Third Reich's anti- 
Jewish policies from persecution to physical annihilation on a 
European scale. Currently, Final Solution is used interchange- 
ably with other, broader terms that refer to German extermi- 
nation policies during World War 11 (Holocaust, Shoah), as 
well as more specifically to describe German intent and the 
decision-making process leading up to the beginning of sys- 
tematic mass murder. 

While the Nazi Party program adopted in February 
1920 did not contain direct or indirect reference to the term, 
Nazi propaganda presented a radical elimination of anything 
deemed Jewish from all aspects of German life as prerequisite 
for national recovery. After Hitler's rise to power, party activ- 
ists and bureaucrats competed in transforming the broad- 
based consensus that something had to be done about the 
"Jewish question' into government policy aimed at varying 
degrees of segregation, expropriation, and physical removal. 
In the process, applying force became increasingly attractive; 
however, use of the term in German documents produced 
prior to 1941 should be understood less as an expression of a 
preconceived blueprint for genocide than as an expression of 
radical, as yet unspecified intent. 

With the beginning of war and the organized murder of 
"undesirable" non-Jewish groups among the German popu- 
lation in the so-called ^Euthanasia program, hazy declara- 
tions of intent and expectation from the top leadership - most 
prominently Hitler's Reichstag statement of January 30, 1939, 
that a new world war would bring about "the annihilation of 
the Jewish race in Europe" - provided legitimization and in- 
centive for violent, on occasion already murderous measures 
adopted at the periphery that would in turn radicalize deci- 
sion making in Berlin. Heydrich's Schnellbrief to the Einsatz- 
gruppen commanders in Poland dated September 21, 1939, on 
the "Jewish question" refers to secret "planned total measures" 
(thus the final aim) ( u die geplanten Gesamtmafinahmen (also 
das Endziel")); nevertheless, most Holocaust historians to- 
day agree that at the time this solution was still perceived in 
terms of repression and removal, not annihilation. The more 
frequent use of the term Final Solution in German documents 
beginning in 1941 indicates gradual movement toward the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



idea of physical elimination in the context of shattered plans 
for large-scale population resettlement (including the "Mad- 
agascar plan') and megalomanic hopes of imperial aggran- 
dizement in Eastern Europe. American scholar Christopher 
Browning notes that "a 'big bang* theory" fails to adequately 
describe German decision making; instead, the process was 
prolonged and incremental, driven by "a vague vision of im- 
plied genocide." 

If there was a caesura towards the implementation of 
the Final Solution through mass murder, it is marked by the 
German "war of destruction" waged against the Soviet Union 
from June 22, 1941. Provided with instructions that called for 
the rapid pacification of conquered areas and that stressed 
the "sub-human" nature of broad strata of the population as 
well as the need for drastic measures to fight the deadly threat 
posed by "Judeo-Bolshevism" to the Nazi grand design, Ger- 
man soldiers, ss-men, and policemen murdered Jews from 
the first days of the campaign. Regionally different patterns 
of persecution unfolded until the end of 1941; its most promi- 
nent feature - the broadening scope of the killings from male 
Jews of military age (Heydrichs notorious letter to the higher 
ss- and Police heads in the occupied Soviet Union dated July 
2, 1941, listed "Jews in party and state positions" and "other 
radical elements" among those to be executed) to women and 
children - underscores the absence of a central order and the 
preference of the Berlin authorities for controlled escalation. 

The murderous events in the occupied Soviet Union 
had - as envisaged in a directive by Alfred Rosenbergs Reich 
Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories - provided the 
German leadership with experiences on how to arrive at a "so- 
lution to the overall problem" ("fur die Loesung des Gesamt- 
Problems richtungsweisend") that could be applied elsewhere. 
On July 31, 1941, Goering signed a document that charged 
Heydrich with "making all necessary preparations with re- 
gard to organizational, practical and material aspects for an 
overall solution ("Gesamtloesung") of the Jewish question in 
the German sphere of influence in Europe" and to draw up a 
plan "for the implementation of the intended final solution 
("Endloesung") of the Jewish question." By the time of the 
*Wannsee Conference held on January 20, 1942, the term Final 
Solution had become a common phrase among German gov- 
ernment and party officials. Now reduced in its actual mean- 
ing to mass murder, its geographical scope expanded beyond 
German-dominated Europe: the protocol of the conference 
listed 11 million Jews in different countries to be engulfed in 
the "Final Solution of the European Jewish question," includ- 
ing England and neutrals like Sweden and Switzerland. The 
culmination of the Final Solution in mass deportations from 
various parts of Europe to the killing centers and death camps 
in Eastern Europe resulted, like earlier stages of the process, 
not from one single top-level decision, but from a complex 
mix of factors, with the Berlin center reacting as much as it 
was actively shaping events. 

Its historical significance makes the term Final Solution 
the most important example of the ability of Nazi language 

to integrate potentially different if not divergent approaches 
towards the so-called Jewish question into a conceptual frame 
of reference that helped facilitate systematic mass murder 
and to hide the Third Reich's genocidal policies behind tech- 
nocratic abstractions, thus providing legitimization for per- 
petrators and enabling bystanders to claim not to know what 
was going on. Despite its inherent problems, most notably in 
evoking the illusion of coordinated planning and systematic 
implementation, the term Final Solution remains crucial for 
recognizing the process character of the Holocaust as a key 
element in a broader history of state-sponsored mass murder 
during the Nazi era. 

bibliography: G. Aly, "Final Solution": Nazi Population 
Policy and the Murder of the European Jews (1999); C.R. Browning 
(with contributions by J. Matthaus), The Origins of the Final Solu- 
tion: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 - March 1942 
(2004); R. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (2003 3 ); P. 
Longerich, Politik der Vernichtung. Eine Gesamtdarstellung der nati- 
onalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung (1998). 

[Jiirgen Matthaus (2 nd ed.)] 

FINALY CASE, a cause celebre after World War 11 in the 
struggle for the return to Judaism of two Jewish children res- 
cued by non-Jews. A young Viennese Jewish doctor, Fritz Fi- 
naly, had fled to France with his wife after the 1938 Anschluss 
and settled in Grenoble, where they had two sons, Robert and 
Gerald, born in 1941 and 1942, respectively. Their father cir- 
cumcised the boys on their birth. When the deportation of 
French Jews commenced, the Finalys entrusted the children 
to the care of a municipal school in Grenoble, in order to hide 
them from the Nazis. In February 1944 the parents were de- 
ported to Eastern Europe; they did not return. Friends of the 
family handed the children over to Notre Dame de Sion, a 
Catholic institution, which in turn put them in the hands of 
Antoinette Brun, the director of a municipal children's home 
in Grenoble. After the war, she wanted to keep the orphaned 
Finaly boys in her custody. 

Fritz Finaly was survived by three sisters who made at- 
tempts to ascertain the fate of their brother and his family. 
The eldest sister succeeded in tracing the children to Brun and 
on contacting her, she was informed that the children were 
well and were being raised as Jews. At the same time, Brun 
obtained from the French authorities formal custody of the 
children and arranged for their conversion to Catholicism. 
The sisters, who were not aware of this development, agreed 
among themselves that the children should be brought up by 
the youngest, Hedwig Rosner, a resident of Gederah in Israel. 
In 1948, having failed in their attempts to obtain the children 
from Brun, the sisters resorted to legal action. The case lasted 
for five years, during which the children were moved from 
place to place and from one Catholic institution to another. 
The trial aroused great interest in France and abroad, and the 
arousing of public opinion, especially among teachers and 
intellectuals, had a great influence on the eventual outcome. 
A minority of the Catholic public in France accused the Jews 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


of ingratitude and argued that the children were French citi- 
zens so that their transfer to Israel would be tantamount to 
kidnapping. However, even Catholic opinion was divided. 
Francois Mauriac, the author, initially took an anti-Jewish 
stand on the issue, but subsequently reversed it. At the height 
of the controversy the boys were smuggled out of France and 
handed over to Basque monks, and for a while their where- 
abouts remained unknown. In June 1953 Frances highest court 
rejected Brim's claim; in July, the children were brought back 
to France and delivered to their aunt, who took them to Israel 
to be raised in her home. 

bibliography: A. Danan, in: Jewish Frontier, 20 (June, 1953), 
7-12; N. Baudy, in: Commentary, 15 (1953), 547-57; M. Kellen, L'Ajfaire 
Finaly... (i960); Rabi (pseud.), L'Affaire Finaly (1953); Cahiers Sioni- 

ens, 7 no. 1 (1953), 77"io5- 

[Chaim Yahil] 


Internal Taxation 

The public finances of the autonomous Jewish ^community 
in the Middle Ages and early modern times were conditioned 
by the need to support communal institutions as well as to 
meet sudden and often huge demands for money in order to 
defend communities or individuals against attacks and libels 
(see also *Blood Libel; Desecration of the *Host). The provi- 
sion of ^charity by the communal purse also became urgent 
following massacres and expulsions. The methods of internal 
taxation adopted were often influenced, for better or worse, 
by the fact that the community was held collectively respon- 
sible for the collection and apportionment of taxes levied on 
Jews by the state, this being one of the main features of Jew- 
ish communal ^autonomy. They were also shaped to a large 
extent by the methods of taxation of the gentile town where 
the community was located. 

Under the *geonim and *negidim in the eastern coun- 
tries and in Muslim Spain, up to the end of the 11 th century 
and even beyond, local tax levies and allocations were mostly 
directed by the central leadership through local appointees. 
The finances of the Babylonian academies and the court of the 
*exilarch were regulated and their expenditure was covered 
by the levy of fixed imposts on the Jewish population, as well 
as by voluntary donations and income from landed property 
owned by these institutions. 

In countries and periods in which the leadership was less 
centralistic, various methods of financial management were 
developed. Takkanot ascribed to *Gershom b. Judah, but in 
reality drawn up around the 12 th century, envisage a case where 
"if the kahalhas established an ordinance to help the poor... 
with the agreement of the majority, the minority may not re- 
fuse to obey it" (L. Finkelstein, Jewish Self- Government in the 
Middle Ages (1924), 132); this is the first overt indication of a 
local system of taxation for charity within the framework of 
the medieval community. 

In takkanot of Jacob b. Meir *Tam of the 12 th century the 
period of residence before having to contribute to the charity 

fund is laid down: "to come under the herem to 'bring the tithe 
to the treasure house* [Mai. 3:10] one must be but one month 
in the city. Members of a community who cannot give char- 
ity may compel others who can afford to give" (op. cit., 185-6; 
see also 209-10). This concept of the tithe (maaser) as a con- 
tribution to charity -whether enforced or voluntary-was to be 
one of the financial pillars of Ashkenazi communities. Thus 
certain medieval forms of internal Jewish taxes were based on 
and defined by ancient terminology and ideology. 

In Christian Spain the communities largely covered their 
needs by an indirect consumption tax mainly on wine and 
meat, but combining this with direct taxation in the cisa sys- 
tem, subject to changes and variations of time and place. 

In Poland-Lithuania, the intensive internal taxation and 
spending (cf. the various takkanot and budgets in the Pinkas 
Medinat Lita and Pinkas Vaad Arba Arazot; and see ^Councils 
of the Lands) were not sufficient to cover needs, in particular 
as the harsh and irregular exactions of state dignitaries and 
the despotic nobility mounted. Eventually the Councils of the 
Lands as well as individual communities had to rely increas- 
ingly on loans, As their debts increased, higher interest rates 
were charged by Christian noblemen and churchmen, as well 
as by Jews. In several Polish communities of the 18 th century 
the cost of defrayment of debts amounted to 40% of their an- 
nual budgets. In some instances these loans were of 150 years' 
standing. Separate collections were often made for the salaries 
of rabbis and preachers. The financial problems and methods 
of expenditure of a large community with a relatively secure 

Poznan Jewry Budget, 1637-38 



Taxes, etc. 












Vice-Palatin's Secretary 



The General 



The General's Secretary 



Other officials 






Clergy and monks 



Town taxes and expenses 



Officials in Gnessen 



Other expenses 



Various expenses at the fairs 






Education (Talmud Torah) 



The Palestine 



Poor brides 






Salaries for rabbis, physicians and others 












B.D. Weinryb, in pajjr, 19 (1950), 50 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



and legal position are shown in the budget of Poznan Jewry 
for 1637-38. (See Table: Poznan Jewry Budget.) 

The much more detailed original Hebrew text of the bud- 
get (ibid. y no. 138, Heb. pagin. 57-60) shows very interesting 
items of expenditure. The highest-paid official of the commu- 
nity was the shtadlan who received 300 zlotys a year, while the 
rabbi was paid only 130 zlotys in salary and an allowance of 
100 zlotys for living expenses. The main preacher was paid 156 
zlotys while a separate collection for this purpose would bring 
in "approximately 107 zlotys." Six Jewish guards received 150 
zlotys among them, while three Christian guards were paid 
108 zlotys for the winter period only. Expenses for water pipes 
amounted to 400 zlotys. The main Christian dignitaries and 
the various Christian religious orders not only received fixed 
amounts of money but also spices and carpets on credit. To 
its foreseen outlay the community had to expend within the 
period 1637-38 to 1641-42 two payments on "tumults" and 
"all this in addition to various expenses amounting to thou- 
sands of zlotys given to the wojewoda [provincial governor], 
the general, and other dignitaries." 

From about the middle of the 17 th century local com- 
munities of Poland-Lithuania developed the *korobka (basket 
tax), a system of indirect consumption tax frequently collected 
in dues for shehitah. It was later broadened under Russian and 
Austrian rule mainly in the form of a *candle tax (on candles 
for Sabbath and the like). Synagogues also gained an income 
from pew-selling. Scholars and the very poor were exempt in 
principle from most taxation. 

With the advance of emancipation, the power of tax en- 
forcement was gradually removed from communal jurisdic- 
tion, and all internal needs had subsequently to be financed 
on a voluntary basis. 

The gap between the medieval kehillah and the modern 
fund-raising agencies was filled by the *hevrah which assumed 
the function of activating voluntary giving as well as operat- 
ing the social welfare and other institutions of the commu- 
nity. The most viable among these associations was the *hevra 
kaddisha, the burial society, which by its monopolistic and 
lucrative ownership of the community s cemetery plots was 
sufficiently solvent not only to operate many social welfare, 
cultural, and educational enterprises, but also to help other 
associations maintain their services, As late as the 20 th cen- 
tury, the dues of Central and South American burial societies 
financed communal activities. Sometimes the hevra kaddisha 
there assumed the functions of a kahal (e.g., in *Buenos Ai- 
res), In the 20 th century the stupendous needs created by two 
world wars, the Nazi Holocaust, and the restoration of Israel 
prompted Jewish communities in Western countries to de- 
velop highly efficient fund-raising techniques. Thus the medi- 
eval system of compulsory financing was effectively converted 
into voluntary giving in modern times. 

Methods of Tax Collection for the State 

When having to act as collectors or farmers of state tax, the 
individual communities, Councils of the Lands, ^federations 

of communities, *Landesjudenschaften, or government-ap- 
pointed rabbis (see *Kazionny Ravin) each had to develop 
their own methods of tax collection and apportionment ac- 
cording to circumstances as well as to try diplomatic means at 
negotiating an equitable tax load as far as possible, State impo- 
sition was usually mechanical. Taxes were generally imposed 
per capita, or according to the estimated combined wealth of 
the Jews of the given unit, The communal or other appoin- 
tees in the Jewish leadership usually tried to calculate a just 
and equitable distribution of this burden among its members. 
Thus to assess the means of members they appointed special 
officers (Heb. shamma'im), and committees whose composi- 
tion gave rise to class tensions in the larger and socially var- 
iegated communities. The assessment of taxes also involved 
problems of social justice and definitions of services and du- 
ties. In Christian Spain and Poland- Lithuania especially, the 
methods employed and principles involved were frequently 
called in question. An instructive example of application of 
these principles in Christian Spain is summed up by Y.F. Baer: 
The tax statute of the aljama [Jewish community] Huesca of 
the year 1340 opens with a paragraph dealing with the poll 
tax and exemptions from it. Among the groups exempted 
were members of the community whose wealth amounted to 
less than 50 sueldos, scholars 'who study day and night, hav- 
ing no other occupation,' the poor supported by charity, and 
servants. The communal leaders were authorized to exempt 
certain needy members from payment of this tax, provided 
the total sum involved in these exemptions would not exceed 
a certain specified figure. Then there followed a complex sys- 
tem of taxes of varying rates, levied upon both property and 
business transactions. A tax of one-half of one percent ( l /2%) 
was levied on the value of houses and gardens adjoining them: 
and another, of one percent (1%) on fields, vineyards, and gar- 
dens not adjoining the owner s house. There was a tax of one 
and one half percent (iV2%) on the amounts of direct loans of 
money and of commercial credits (commendae) in kind-grain, 
oil, honey, textiles, etc.-extended to Christians and Muslims. 
The tax on loans to fellow Jews was much lower, only five- 
twelfths of one percent ( 5 /i2%), since these bore no interest. 
Loans extended to aljamas, servants, and students and the 
sums involved in betrothal and marriage contracts and in 
wills went untaxed. There were taxes on mortgaged real es- 
tate, on rented homes and stores, on the purchase and sale of 
land, textiles, grain, foodstuffs, gold and silver, furs and other 
merchandise, as well as on the purchase of clothes and vari- 
ous other necessities. Finally the daily earnings of an artisan, 
if they were above a certain amount, were taxed. Teachers 
and the readers and sextons of the synagogues were exempted 
(Baer, Spain, 1 (1966), 206-7). 

bibliography: Baron, Social 2 , index; Baron, Community, 
index s.v. Financial administration; Baer, Spain, index; H.H. Ben-Sas- 
son, Hagut ve-Hanhagah (1959), 147, 158, 229-32, 239; Roth, England, 
index s.v. Taxation; Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, 485-514. 

[Isaac Levitats] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


FINBERT, ELIAN-J. (1899-1977), Jaffa-born author. Orig- 
inally a camel driver and Nile boatman, Finbert published 
an anti-military novel, Sous le regne de la Licorne et du Lion 
(1925), for which Herni Barbusse wrote a preface. Un homme 
vientde I orient (1930), the prize winning Le/ow deDieu (1933), 
and Le destin difficile (1937) are novels on Jewish problems. 
Finbert edited a volume of essays, Aspects du genie dTsrael 
(1950) and wrote Israel (1955), a travel guide, and Pionniers 
dTsrael (1956). 

°FINCH, SIR HENRY (1558-1625), English philo-Semite 
and precursor of Zionism. Finch was a member of parliament 
and distinguished jurist whose legal writings were studied for 
two centuries after his death. He was also an accomplished 
Hebraist and profoundly interested in theology. His Expla- 
nation of the Song of Songs (London, 1615) discussed the New 
Jerusalem. In his anonymous The Worlds Great Restauration, 
or Calling of the Jews (London, 1621) - one of the classics of 
Christian pro-Zionist literature - he invited the Jews to reas- 
sert their claim to the Promised Land, and Christian monarchs 
to pay homage to them. Although this was to be accompa- 
nied by the conversion of the Jews to Christianity, his views 
aroused much criticism. James 1 resented the suggestion that 
he should pay fealty to the Jews and the work was suppressed 
as derogatory to royal dignity. The author and the publisher 
were imprisoned until they expressed contrition for this "un- 
advised" writing. 

bibliography: Kobler, in: jhset, 16 (1952), 101-20. add. 
bibliography: odnb online; D.S. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the 
Readmission of the Jews to England, 1603-1655 (1982), index; W. Prest, 
"Hie Art of Law and the Law of God: Sir Henry Finch (1558-1625)" 
in: D. Pennington and K. Thomas (eds.)> Puritans and Revolutionar- 
ies (1978), 94-117. 

[Cecil Roth] 

FINCI, ELI (1911-1980). Yugoslav editor and author. Born in 
Sarajevo, Bosnia, Finci first wrote for the literary magazine 
Knijzevnost. He founded and published a review, Brazda, in 
1935, and translated literary works from French into Serbian. 
Later, in Belgrade, he served as department head in the pub- 
lishing house "Geca Kon" and as a director of the Yugoslav 
Dramatic Theater. His published books include Dva lika ("Two 
Profiles," 1950) and Vise I manje yivota ("More and Less than 
Life," 1954), Stvarnost i iluzije ("Reality or illusions," 1957). He 
also translated from French and published a study on Diderot. 
He was also prominent as a theatre critic. 

holm (1937); Moscow and Leningrad (1937); and Margate 
(1937). In the two top tournaments in the U.S.S.R., he was the 
first foreigner ever to come in first. At Nottingham in 1936 he 
was a joint third behind Capablanca and *Botvinnik. In the 
Avro Tournament of 1938, Fine tied for first place with Keres, 
and came in ahead of Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Euwe, 
*Reshevsky, and *Flohr. Considered the second greatest Amer- 
ican chess player, second to former world champion Bobby 
*Fischer, Fine competed in several U.S. championships but 
never won. But such international chess greats as Capablanca, 
Flohr, and Botvinnik could not beat him. Fines chess style was 
logical, precise, and energetic, and he was equally at ease both 
strategically and tactically. According to most players, Fines 
only weakness was his volatile temperament. 

Soon after World War 11, unable to properly support his 
family as a chess professional, Fine abandoned tournament 
chess to study psychology at the University of Southern Cali- 
fornia. He served with the United States Veterans Adminis- 
tration from 1948 to 1950 and at the Post-Graduate Center 
for Psychotherapy. He was professor of psychology at City 
College of New York from 1953 to 1958. Despite his preoccu- 
pation with his professional work, Fine continued to excel in 
"lightning" chess and won prizes in the American champion- 

He wrote in both his fields of interest. On psychology, 
he wrote the following: The Psychology of the Asthmatic Child 
(1948), Freud, A Critical Re-evaluation of his Theories (1962), 
History of Psychoanalysis (1979), The Intimate Hour (1979), 
The Healing of the Mind (1982), The Meaning of Love in Hu- 
man Experience (1985), Narcissism, the Self, and Society (1986), 
The Forgotten Man (1987), Psychoanalysis around the World 
(1987), Troubled Men (1988), Love and Work (1990), and Trou- 
bled Women (1992). 

On the game of chess, he wrote: My Best Games of Chess 
(2 vols., 1927-38), Basic Chess Endings (1941), Chess, the Easy 
Way (1942), Ideas behind the Chess Openings (1943), The 
Worlds a Chessboard (1948), The Worlds Great Chess Games 
(1951), Lessons from My Games (1958), Great Moments in Mod- 
ern Chess (1965), The Psychology of the Chess Player (1967), 
Practical Chess Openings (1973), Bobby Fischers Conquest of the 
Worlds Chess Championship (1973), Fifty Chess Masterpieces, 
1941-1944 (1977), and Reuben Fines Best Games (2002). 

bibliography: A. Woodger, Reuben Fine: A Comprehensive 
Record of an American Chess Career, 1929-1951 (2004). 

[Gerald Abrahams / Ruth BelorT (2 nd ed.)] 

FINE, REUBEN (1914-1992), U.S. chess master and psycho- 
analyst. Fine was born in New York City, where he studied at 
City College. Growing up in the East Bronx in a poor Rus- 
sian-Jewish family, he first learned to play chess from an un- 
cle at the age of eight. After winning several American tour- 
naments as a youth, he turned to international competition. 
His important victories took place at Zandvoort, Amsterdam 
(1936), where he won an equal first prize with Flohr; Stock- 

FINE, SIDNEY (1920- ), U.S. historian. After serving as 
a Japanese language officer in the Navy (1942-46), Fine re- 
ceived his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1948. 
That year, the university offered him a teaching position; he 
was appointed professor of history in 1959. His fields of re- 
search were the intellectual regions of 20 th -century American 
reform and the automobile industry. Fine was active in Jew- 
ish communal affairs. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



He retired in 2001 as the Andrew Dickenson White Pro- 
fessor Emeritus, History, College of Literature, Science, & the 
Arts. Having taught for 53 years, Fine is credited with having 
the longest active teaching career at the university and for 
leaving a lasting impression on his students. Recognized as 
an outstanding educator and historian, Fine was awarded the 
highest faculty honor, the University of Michigan's Henry Rus- 
sel Lectureship, as well as the Golden Apple Award. Students 
select the Golden Apple recipient for excellence in teaching; 
the faculty chooses the Russel winner for national distinction 
in research and publication. Fine is the first professor to have 
received both these awards. He also received three honorary 
degrees; was named Professor of the Year for the state of Mich- 
igan in 1986 by the Council for Advancement and Support 
of Education; was named an International Man of the Year 
for 2000-1 by the International Biographical Centre of Cam- 
bridge, England; and eight of his books have won awards. 

Over the years, Fines work has involved the study of 
labor law and organized labor, trade unions, race relations, 
racial discrimination, and political history in Michigan. His 
books include Laissez-Faire and the General Welfare of the 
State 1865-1901 (1956), The Automobile under the Blue Ea- 
gle (1963), Sit-Down: The General Motors Strike of 1936-1937 
(1969), Frank Murphy: The Detroit Years (1975), Frank Mur- 
phy: The New Deal Years (1979), Violence in the Model City: 
The Cavanagh Administration, Race Relations, and the Detroit 
Riot of 196/ (1989), Frank Murphy: the New Deal Years (1993), 
Without Blare of Trumpets: Walter Drew, The National Erec- 
tors' Association, and the Open Shop Movement (1995), and 
Expanding the Frontiers of Civil Rights: Michigan, 1948-1968 
(2000). In the latter book he documents the fact that Michi- 
gan, as a leader among the states in civil rights legislation, 
embraced not only African- Americans but also women, the 
elderly, Native Americans, migrant workers, and the physi- 
cally handicapped. 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FINEBERG, SOLOMON ANDHIL (1896-1990), U.S. rabbi 
and communal leader. Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., Fineberg 
served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War 1 and 
then entered the University of Cincinnati and the Hebrew 
Union College, where he was ordained in 1920 along with Jo- 
seph L. *Baron, Bernard *Heller, and Jacob Rader *Marcus, 
a distinguished graduating class. He received his Ph.D. from 
Columbia University and later was honored with a D.D. from 
Hebrew Union College. 

His first career was as a rabbi, serving congregations in 
Niagara Falls, n.y. (1920-24), and then returning to Pitts- 
burgh (1924-26). He moved to White Plains, n.y. (1926-29), 
and then to Temple Sinai in nearby Mt. Vernon (1929-37), and 
for half that time simultaneously served as national chaplain 
of the Jewish War Veterans before joining the American Jew- 
ish Committee as National Community Relations Consultant. 
There he became, in the words of a colleague Isaiah Terman, 
"the foremost theoretician, strategist, practitioner, and adviser 

to Jewish community and intergroup organizations and to 
government agencies in the United States and abroad." 

He is the author of several books including Biblical Myth 
and Legend in Jewish Education (1932) and Overcoming Anti- 
semitism (1943), written at a critical time in the American Jew- 
ish experience. He wrote Punishment without Crime (1949), 
which both explores the sources of prejudice and suggests pre- 
ventative programs to strengthen human relations. He took 
issue with the then current efforts of the American Jewish 
community to answer the charges of antisemitism, suggesting 
that they spread the libel. Instead he proposed an affirmative 
portrayal of the Jews. An anticommunist, he published The 
Rosenberg Case (1953), which demonstrated their guilt and 
suggested that the Jewish community not defend them, posi- 
tions deeply unpopular with rank and file Jews. His work Re- 
ligion behind the Iron Curtain brought attention to the plight 
of Soviet Jewry. 

After formal retirement from the American Jewish Com- 
mittee, he became a consultant to the National Conference of 
Christians and Jews for more than a dozen years (1965-78), 
working assiduously on race relations in New York at a time 
of great tension. 

bibliography: American Jewish Year Book (1992), 594; I. 
Terman, "S. Andhil Fineberg," in: Proceedings of the Central Confer- 
ence of American Rabbis (1990), 188-90. 

[Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

FINEMAN, HAYYIM (1886-1959), U.S. educator and Zionist 
worker. Fineman, who was born in Russia, was taken to the 
United States by his parents in 1890. He became head of the 
English department at Temple University in Philadelphia in 
19 11. Throughout his life Fineman was active in *Poalei Zion. 
He was one of the founders of the American organization in 
1904. In 1919-20 he was secretary of the Po ale Zion Com- 
mission sent to investigate conditions in Palestine, and on 
his return he became president of the organization. In 1929 
Fineman took up a teaching position in Palestine, resuming 
his professorship at Temple University in 1933. He helped to 
establish the Jewish Frontier (1934), of which he was an edi- 
tor. At a time when the majority of the leaders and members 
of Po'ale Zion belonged to the Yiddish-speaking community, 
it was Finemans special role to present its standpoint to Eng- 
lish-speaking Jews, particularly in the academic world. His 
son daniel (1915- ) settled in Israel in 1953 and after teach- 
ing in the English department at the Hebrew University, 
Jerusalem, was appointed head of the English department at 
Tel Aviv University (1964-69) and was dean of the Faculty of 
Arts from 1966-69. 

FINEMAN, IRVING (1893-1976), U.S. novelist. Born in New 
York, Fineman served in the navy during World War 1, and 
worked as an engineer until 1929, when he turned to writ- 
ing. His first two novels, This Pure Young Man (1930) and 
Lovers Must Learn (1932), dealt with American themes. His 
third, Hear, Ye Sons (1933), recreated the past from which his 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


hasidic parents had come; Doctor Addams (1939) dealt with 
the dilemma of a successful scientist who is completely inef- 
fective in dealing with personal and social problems. Of his 
later novels, Jacob (1941) and Ruth (1949) had biblical subjects, 
His biography of Henrietta *Szold, Woman of Valor (1961), 
aroused controversy because of its frank portrayal of a revered 

bibliography: S. Liptzin, Jew in American Literature (1966), 


[Sol Liptzin] 

FINER, HERMAN (1898-1969), U.S. political scientist. Born 
in Herta (Gersta) Bessarabia, Finer was taken to England as 
a child and graduated from the London School of Economics 
where he lectured on public administration from 1920 to 1942. 
He was actively involved in Labour Party politics and London 
local government work as a member of the London School of 
Economics group of academics centered around Sidney and 
Beatrice Webb and Harold *Laski. From 1946 to 1963 he was 
professor of political science at the University of Chicago. 
Finer was one of the first to introduce comparative politics 
and public administration as academic subjects in universi- 
ties. His massive Theory and Practice of Modern Government 
(1932) was a model for textbooks on comparative politics and 
served as an introduction to a generation of political scien- 
tists. He acquired fame by his Road to Reaction (1945), a po- 
lemical answer to Hayeks Road to Serfdom. Written in Finer s 
characteristically pungent style, this book defended national 
planning and the welfare state as not inconsistent with de- 
mocracy. His other works include English Local Government 
(1935), The Presidency: Crisis and Regeneration (i960), and 
Dulles Over Suez (1964). 

[Edwin Emanuel Gutmann] 

FINES (Heb. riiOJj?, kenasot) are distinguishable from ^dam- 
ages in that they are not commensurate with the actual amount 
of damage suffered, whether such damage has been sustained 
by tortious act or by breach of contract or by an offense (see 
also ^Obligation, Law of; Torts). However, in cases where for 
a particular tort only half of the sustained damage is recover- 
able, or where the law prescribes more than the full damage 
to be paid (e.g., in case of theft: Ex. 21:37), such payment is 
classified as a fine (Maim. Yad, Nizkei Mamon 2:7-8). Of the 
four instances of fines prescribed in biblical law, three are liq- 
uidated amounts (30 shekels of silver: Ex. 21:32; 100 shekels of 
silver: Deut. 22:19; 5° shekels of silver: Deut. 22:29), an d one is 
unliquidated ("silver in proportion to the bride price for vir- 
gins": Ex, 22:16), The Talmud asserts that while the payment 
of damages commensurate to the damage caused is rational by 
law [min ha-din) the imposition of fines was something novel 
(hadash) decreed by heaven (Ket, 38a, Rashi ibid.), so that fines 
are not to be regarded as law proper but rather as royal (divine) 
commands (ibid.). Not being the normal compensation for 
the actual damage suffered, fines have a quasi-penal character 
("penalties"), and hence can only be recovered on the evidence 

of two witnesses, and not on the ^admission or ^confession 
of the defendant (Ket, 42b- 43 a; Shev. 38b; Yad, loc. cit. and 
Genevah 3:8). Another consequence of the quasi-penal char- 
acter of the fine is that it is merged in any graver penalty pre- 
scribed for the same act since not more than one penalty can 
be inflicted for the same offense; where ^capital punishment 
or ^flogging are prescribed for any offense, these alone will be 
inflicted and no fine imposed (Mak, 4b; Ket. 32b, 37a; bk 83b), 
The only exception to this rule is the case of wounding, where 
the payment of a fine and damages is to be preferred to any 
other punishment (Yad, Hovel u-Mazzik 4:9). 

In talmudic law, the sanction of fines was introduced for 
a multitude of causes: e.g., where the damage is not visible to 
the eye (as where A ritually defiled B s food) and is not liable 
according to the law of the To rah (Git. 53 a; Yad, loc. cit. 7:1-3); 
where it is doubtful which of several claimants is entitled to 
stolen goods (Yev. 118b; Yad, Gezelah ve-Avedah 4:9); for the 
alienation of immovables which cannot be the subject of theft 
(tj, bk 10:6,7c); for selling slaves or cattle to heathens (Git. 
44a); for ^slander (bk 9 la; Yad, Hovel u-Mazzik 3:5-7); where 
a tortfeasor is not liable in damages because of a supervening 
act of a third party (tj, Kil. 7:3, 3 la; see *Gerama and Garme); 
et al. In some cases, the amount of the fine is fixed by law (e.g., 
in certain cases of slander and assault: tj, bk 8:8, 6c; bk 8:6; 
for rape: Deut. 22:29; Ket. 3:1); in most cases, however, it is left 
to the discretion of the court in the exercise of its expropria- 
tory powers (see ^confiscation; mk 16a; Yad, Sanhedrin, 24:6; 
hm 2:1 and Rema ad loc). Even where the amount had been 
fixed by law, instances are recorded in which the courts im- 
posed heavier fines, e.g., on recidivists (bk 96b). Fixed tariffs 
have the advantage of assuring equality before the law (Ket. 
3:7); and even where the amount of the fine was to be assessed 
according to the dignity and standing of the person injured, 
a great jurist held that all persons were to be presumed to be 
of equal rank and status (bk 8:6). 

Contractual fines (see ^contract) which a person under- 
took to forfeit in the event of his default were enforceable un- 
less tainted by *asmakhta (bb 168a). While formal jurisdiction 
for the imposition of fines ceased with the destruction of the 
Temple (see *bet din) y it was in post-talmudic law that fines 
became the standard sanction for minor (i.e., most) crimi- 
nal offenses. Opinions are divided as to whether the present 
jurisdiction extends only to fines not fixed in the Bible or in 
the Talmud (Hagra to hm In. 1) or whether fines fixed in the 
Talmud are included in this jurisdiction (Piskei ha-Rosh to 
Git. 4:41; Rema to hm 1:5); but there is general consensus that 
in matters not covered by biblical and talmudic law, courts 
have an unfettered discretion to impose fines (cf. Resp. Rosh 
101:1) - a talmudic authority being invoked to the effect that 
fines may be imposed not only by virtue of law but also by 
virtue of custom (tj, Pes. 4:3,3od). 

A few examples of the many newly created offenses for 
which fines were imposed are: resisting rabbinical authority 
(Resp. Rosh 21:8-9); accepting a bribe for changing ones tes- 
timony (ibid. 58:4); refusing to let others use ones books (ibid. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



93:3); instituting proceedings in non-Jewish courts (Resp. 
Maharam of Rothenburg quoted in Mordekhai, bk 195); fre- 
quenting theaters and other places of public entertainment, 
as well as ^gambling (S. Assaf, Ha-Onshin Aharei Hatimat 
ha-Talmud, 116 no. 126); taking a dog into a synagogue (ibid., 
95, no. 12); and many similar contraventions. But fines were 
also imposed for receiving stolen goods (ibid., 137, no. 163), 
fraudulent business transactions (ibid., 133 no, 157), and unfair 
competition (ibid., 127, no. 141). Fines were also the alterna- 
tive punishment for floggings, where these could not be im- 
posed or executed (Rema to hm 2:1; Darkhei Moshe ad loc, 
n. 5; resp. Hatam Sofer hm, 181), as, conversely, flogging was 
imposed where a fine could not be recovered - although the 
standard sanction for the nonpayment of fines was ^impris- 
onment (Zikhron Yehudah 36). 

The greatest reform in post-talmudic law in respect of 
fines however concerned the nature of the payee. While both 
in biblical and talmudic law it was the person injured (or, in 
the case of a minor girl, her father) who was entitled to the fine 
and no fines were payable into any public fund, later courts 
ordered fines to be paid to the injured person only where he 
insisted (Yam shel Shelomo bk 8:49), but normally would or- 
der fines to be paid to public charities, at times giving the in- 
jured person a choice of the particular charity to be benefited 
(Resp. Maharyu 147). More often than not, the charity was left 
undefined, and the fine was then recovered from the debtor 
by the community treasurers in charge of collecting for gen- 
eral charities (cf. yd 256:1). But there are also instances of 
fines being imposed for named charities, such as the study of 
the Torah (Resp. Rosh 13:4); the maintenance of To rah stu- 
dents (haspakah; Takkanot Medinat Mehrin, 46 (no. 139), 47 
(no. 140)); the poor of Jerusalem or of the Holy Land (ibid. 
39, no. 117). A frequent destination of part of all fines recov- 
ered was the governor or government of the city or country 
in which the Jewish court was sitting. In many such cities or 
countries, the privilege of internal jurisdiction was granted to 
Jewish courts only on condition that part of all fines recovered 
would be paid into the official treasury (ibid. 39, no. 117; Resp. 
Rosh, 21:8-9). Whatever the destination was, however, it was 
the strict rule that the courts or judges were not allowed to 
appropriate any fines to themselves (Assaf. loc. cit., p. 43); and 
there are detailed provisions for accounts to be kept and pub- 
lished of the disposition of all fines imposed, recovered, and 
distributed (Takkanot Medinat Mehrin, 24, no. 74). Whether 
or not the fine was paid to the injured person, the court al- 
ways insisted that the defendant did everything in his power 
to pacify him -even to the extent of proclaiming a *herem on 
him until he did so (Rif, Halakhot bk 187; Piskei ha-Rosh bk 
2; Yad, Sanhedrin 5:17; Shaarei Zedek 4:1,19). This rule applied 
even where the fine was irrecoverable owing to lack of juris- 
diction; and where a man had possessed himself of a fine he 
could not recover in the courts, he was held entitled to retain it 
(bk 15b). 

See also ^Extraordinary Remedies. 

[Haim Hermann Cohn] 

Middle Ages and Early Modern Times 

The power to fine - an important feature of Jewish *auton- 
omy - was exercised by the ^Councils of the Lands and *syn- 
ods, the local ^community, the law court, or the *hevrah. Ac- 
cording to talmudic law (i.e., before the fifth century when 
^ordination ceased), only a court of fully ordained judges 
was empowered to impose the fines prescribed for bodily in- 
jury. However, the principle was gradually established that the 
Jewish community had the right to decide fines and confis- 
cate property as a deterrent or punishment. The proceeds of 
these monetary penalties went variously to *charity, the ka- 
hal heads, the court, the association, the guild, or the injured 
party, several of these very often sharing the sum. Fines were 
frequently imposed with other sanctions, or as a consequence 
of them, for instance, as the corollary of a *herem. 

To prevent self-seeking by judges, the Lithuanian Council 
(see ^Council of the Lands) adopted a resolution in 1662 that 
"no rabbi shall share in any way in the revenue from amerce- 
ments he will impose himself or jointly with the leaders of the 
community." In some countries a portion or all of the fines were 
set aside for the royal or seigniorial treasury, either by demand 
or in order to act as a powerful impetus to their enforcement. 
From the 10 th or 11 th century there is reference to fines imposed 
by a *guild; it is stated: "each and every one of us [the injured 
members] will be free to give this fine to any ruler or official of 
his choice" (*Judah b. Barzillai al-Bargeloni, Sefer ha-Shetarot, 
no. 57). In the 13 th century a synod of the Rhine communities 
decided; "Whoever transgresses any of these *takka not shall be 
under the excommunication of all the communities, and if he 
remains obdurate for a month, his property may be denounced 
to the king" (Finkelstein, Middle Ages, 249). The minute books 
of the many organs of self-government abound in statutory and 
penal fines of all kinds, imposed for various reasons, serious or 
petty. In 1563 the Lithuanian Council threatened the heads of 
the communities with heavy fines for the benefit of the poor of 
Erez Israel, since they had failed to make proper collections for 
this fund. The Moravian Council in 1650 set an amount to be 
paid into the regional treasury by anyone whose appointment 
to a community office was secured on the order of the feudal 
lord. Fines imposed by Sephardi communities in the West on 
members refusing to undertake communal duties led in early 
modern time to desertion from the community, as in the case 
of Isaac *DTsraeli. The hevrot were particularly prone to con- 
trolling their members through a system of statutory fines for 
violation of the rules - a Mishnah hevrah in a Russian township 
adopted an ordinance that "if a member is in town and does 
not report to a class, he is to be fined one Polish grosz per day, 
unless he has an adequate reason." Guilds were equally strict 
with their members and exacted money payments for charity 

for violation of rules. 

[Isaac Levitats] 

Fines during the Period When There Is No Ordained 
Bet Din (Semikhah) 

The fines established as punishments for various offenses de- 
tailed above were imposed by virtue of the authority invested 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


in the court (bet din) or in community leaders to impose 
monetary punishments, whether by expropriation of an in- 
dividuals assets on behalf of the community or by requiring 
payment of a fine to the injured party. By contrast, as stated 
above, these courts were not authorized to impose the fines 
stipulated by the Torah or those established in talmudic or 
geonic times. This point requires further detail. 

The rule cited in the Babylonian Talmud is that cases 
involving the imposition of fines may not be adjudicated by 
anyone other than judges who have been ordained as judges 
(semikhah) (see *Bet Din). During the period of the Baby- 
lonian Talmud, there were still some remaining sages in the 
Land of Israel who had received semikhah, whereas in Baby- 
lonia they no longer received it. Thus, in cases involving the 
requirement to impose a fine to be paid for damages caused by 
one party to another person, such as cases of "half- damages" 
(see torts), the courts in Babylonia could not adjudicate or 
impose the appropriate fine. There were two solutions to this 
problem. One was for the injured party to bring suit against 
the tortfeasor in Erez Israel and, if the defendant failed to ap- 
pear in court, a ban would be imposed on him (see *herem). 
The second solution was for the injured party to seize some 
of the tortfeasors assets, and the court would refrain from 
confiscating them from him (bk 15b). The significance of the 
seizure remedy is based on a dispute among decisors and 
commentators in the post-Geonic era. According to Rabbenu 
*Tam (Tos. to bk 15b), the injured party may only seize the 
particular asset of the tortfeasor used by him to inflict the in- 
jury, but if he were to seize any other of the tortfeasors assets, 
the court should wrest it from him. Rabbenu *Asher, however, 
was of the opinion that the injured party could seize any of 
the tortfeasors assets, and if the property seized was of greater 
value than his losses, the court, after adjudication, could re- 
quire the injured party to forfeit the additional amount. The 
rationale for this is that the seizure itself is a rabbinic enact- 
ment; accordingly, judicial deliberation regarding the value 
of seized property vis-a-vis the value of the damage does not 
constitute adjudication of a fine, but adjudication of a seizure 
under the terms of a Hakkanah. The Rif goes even further. 
In his opinion, the court may adjudicate the original suit for 
damages and assess the value of the damage, without any re- 
quirement to wait until after the aggrieved party's seizure of 
the others property. 

In practice, during the post-talmudic period, when there 
were no judges with semikhah even in the Land of Israel, the 
geonim enacted that, even though fines could not be collected 
in Babylonia, a tortfeasor could be subjected to a ban (see 
*herem) until he settled accounts with his victim, whether 
by payment or by agreement, or until he repaid the value of 
the damage (Rif on bk 30b). The rationale is that "a sinner 
should not be rewarded, nor damage-doing rampant among 
Israel" (Piskei ha-Rosh, bk 8.3, in the name of Rav Natronai 

*Maimonides ruled that the imposition of a ban is not 
only in order to exert pressure to pay for damages, but also to 

encourage the tortfeasor to go with the injured party to Erez 
Israel for adjudication, as specified in the above-cited talmu- 
dic passage (Yad, Sanhedrin 5.16). In Maimonides' day, unlike 
the talmudic period, there were no longer ordained judges. 
Consequently, there are those who explained Maimonides > 
statement to mean that because, in his opinion, the semikhah 
of judges could theoretically be reinstituted at any ordination 
time, this is sufficient to argue that a court is empowered to 
order the banning of the tortfeasor should he refuse to liti- 
gate the case in court, thereby pressuring him to indemnify 
the injured party (Bet Yosef, Tur, hm, 295). By contrast, Rabbi 
Eliezer Waldenberg, one of the outstanding decisors of our 
times, rules on the basis of Maimonides > statement that, even 
in our day, courts in the Land of Israel may adjudicate cases 
in which the punishment is a fine, despite semikhah having 
fallen into desuetude (Resp. Ziz Eliezer 15.69). 

Rabbi Joseph *Caro, in Shulhan Arukh hm. 420.41), pro- 
vides a detailed list of standardized payments for bodily dam- 
ages, all of which are fines. Further on, he cites the monetary 
values of those payments in the currency of his time. It may be 
inferred from this that, even though in his opinion one cannot 
adjudicate cases requiring the payment of fines in the absence 
of judges with semikhah in Erez Israel, a court is not entitled to 
refrain from adjudicating cases in which questions of damage 
arise for which recourse is the imposition of a fine, but must 
instead impose a ban until the tortfeasor pays the injured party 
the appropriate amount, or allow the seizure of the former's 
property by the injured party (Sh. Ar, hm, 1.5). 

[Menachem Elon (2 nd ed.)] 

Bibliography: M.W. Rapaport, Der Talmud und sein Recht 
(1912), 2-69 (third pagination); S. Assaf, Ha-Onshin Aharei Hatimat 
ha-Talmud (1922), index, s.v. Kenasot Mamon: Gulak, Yesodei, 2 
(1922), 15-17; J.M. Ginzb urg, Mishpatim le-Yisrael (1956), 378 (index), 
s.v. Dinei Kenasot; et, 1 (1951 3 ), 168-72; 2 (1949), 168-74; 3 (1951), 
49-50, 162; 7 (1956), 376-82; 10 (1961), 98, io6f.; 12 (1967), 733 f., 740; 
Finkelstein, Middle Ages, index s.v. Fines, medieval and mod- 
ern times: S. Assaf, op. cit., 171!.; Neuman, Spain, 1 (1942), 126-9; 
Baer, Spain, passim; Halpern, Pinkas, passim; idem, Takkanot Me- 
dinat Mehrin (1952), passim; Baron, Community, index; J. Marcus, 
Communal Sick-Care in the German Ghetto (1947), index; I. Levitats, 
Jewish Community in Russia (1943), index; M. Wischnitzer, History 
of Jewish Crafts and Guilds (1965), 215, 271. add. bibliography: 
M. Elon, Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1988), 1:8, 10, 20, 26, 30, 65, 97, 132, 332, 
338, 387, 423, 496, 498, 504, 523, 540, 548, 558, 566, 567, 570, 579, 581, 
592f., 599, 608, 6iof., 62ifT., 637, 646, 648, 657, 659, 665f., 693!?., 702, 
704, 720; 2:885; M. Elon, Jewish Law (1994), 1:8, 9, 21, 28, 33, 72f., 109, 
i48f., 398, 406, 469; 2:516, 533, 604, 607, 614, 637, 658, 667, 679, 688, 
689, 700, 713, 714, 732, 741, 752, 754f., 768, 789, 800, 802, 813, 815, 822, 
846, 8561!., 869, 888; 3:1079; M. Elon and B. Lifshitz, Mafteah ha- 
She'elot ve-ha-Teshuvot shel Hakhmei Sefarad u-Zefon Afrikah (1986), 
2:334-35; B. Lifshitz and E. Shohetman, Mafteah ha-She'elot ve-ha- 
Teshuvot shel Hakhmei Ashkenaz, Zarefat ve-Italyah, 321; R. Erusi, 
"Dinei Kenasot be-Vatei ha-Din le-Mamonot ba-Zeman ha-Zeh? in: 
Tehumin 25 (2005) 233. 

Reform rabbi. Fineshriber was born in St. Louis, Missouri. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



After ordination from Hebrew Union College in 1900, he 
was rabbi in Davenport, Iowa, for 11 years, and then served 
in Memphis, Tennessee, for 13 years. In 1924 Fineshriber was 
called to Philadelphia as rabbi of Reform Congregation Ken- 
eseth Israel and became rabbi emeritus in 1949. Fineshriber 
served on various community and government committees 
and was active in the American Council for Judaism, among 
other organizations. 

bibliography: J. Jacobson, A Man Who Walked Humbly 
with God: 50 Years in the Rabbinate with W.H. Fineshriber (1950). 

[Abram Vossen Goodman] 

FINESTEIN, ISRAEL (1921- ), British judge, historian, and 
communal leader. Born in Hull, Finestein had a distinguished 
career at the bar, serving as a county court judge in 1972-78. 
He combined this with an extraordinary array of senior com- 
munal positions, serving as president of the Board of Deputies 
of British Jews from 1991 to 1994 and as vice president of the 
World Jewish Congress during the same years. Finestein is at 
least as well known as an historian of the Anglo-Jewish com- 
munity, serving as president of the Jewish Historical Society 
of England in 1973-75 and 1993-94. His prolific output on the 
history of the Jews in Britain, especially in Victorian times, 
includes Anglo-Jewry in Changing Times: Studies in Diversity, 
1840-1914 (1999) and Scenes and Personalities in Anglo -Jewish 

Life, 1800-2000 (2002). 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

FINESTONE, SHEILA (1927- ), Canadian politician and 
Jewish community worker. Finestone was born in Montreal, 
Quebec, daughter to Minnie and Monroe Abbey, a lawyer and 
former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Finestone 
earned a bachelor of science degree from McGill University, 
but it was human need not the study of science that was her 
passion. She began a long career in public service by volun- 
teering in the Montreal Jewish community. By the mid-1970s 
she was actively engaged by issues in the larger public fo- 
rum. Among her many community positions, Firestone was 
a founding member of the Alliance Quebec and from 1977 to 
1980 she served as first Anglophone president of the 130,000- 
member Federation des Femmes du Quebec. Deeply con- 
cerned with issues of community development and worn ens 
and minority rights, she was a member of the Board of Trust- 
ees of the Allied Jewish Community Services of Montreal and 
was outspoken on a wide range of social fronts. 

She first entered the political arena in 1979 when she 
joined the Yvette Movement, the women's movement dedi- 
cated to keeping Quebec in Canada. She was the only woman 
to serve on the "No" Committee during the Quebec sover- 
eignty referendum of 1980. In 1984 Firestone was elected to the 
federal Parliament for the Liberal Party in Montreal's heavily 
Jewish riding of Mount Royal, Pierre Trudeaus former seat. 
She was re-elected in each of the next three federal elections. 
In 1993 Firestone was appointed to the federal Cabinet as sec- 
retary of state for multiculturalism and the status of women. 

In this capacity she led the Canadian delegation to the 1995 
United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing. 
Leaving electoral politics, she was appointed to the Canadian 
Senate in 1999 where, along with her support for Israel, she 
took a special interest in the campaign to eliminate the use of 
landmines. Sheila Finestone retired for the Senate when she 
turned 75, the Senates mandatory retirement age. 

[Richard Menkis (2 nd ed.)] 

FINGERMAN, GREGORIO (1890-1976), Argentinean psy- 
chologist. Born in Bogopol, Russia, and taken to Argentina as 
an infant, Fingerman trained in medicine and then turned to 
education and finally to psychology. He was head of the Na- 
tional Institute for Secondary Education in Buenos Aires, and 
in 1934 was appointed director of the Institute for Professional 
Orientation. He also served as professor of psychology at the 
Escuela Superior de Comercio de la Nacion. Among his sev- 
eral books are Lecciones de Logica and Lecciones de Psicologia. 
He was drama critic for La Nacion and was a frequent con- 
tributor to the Jewish press in Buenos Aires. 

FININBERG, EZRA (1889-1946), Soviet Yiddish poet. Ukrai- 
nian-born Fininberg made his literary debut in 1920, when his 
first poems were published in a Kiev Yiddish daily. His first 
volume of poems, Otem ("Breath," 1922), attracted immedi- 
ate attention, and his second, Lider ("Poems," 1925), strength- 
ened his position as one of the most popular Soviet Yiddish 
poets. While his early poems expressed a great deal of Jewish 
feeling and an appreciation of Jewish values, he later closely 
adhered to the Communist Party line. In his play Yungen 
("Youngsters"), produced in Kharkov in 1927, he dramatized 
a number of important events of the Russian revolutionary 
movement; in his book Galop ("Gallop," 1926) he described 
the civil war in the Ukraine. Jewish themes recurred in his 
World War 11 poems, which were also filled with patriotism. 
In 1926-27 Fininberg belonged to the Boy ("Construction") lit- 
erary group, which was later accused of Trotskyism. At a con- 
ference of the Yiddish writers of the Ukraine held in Kharkov 
in April 1931, this group was denounced and Fininberg alleged 
his ignorance of its having been organized by Trotskyites. He 
died in Moscow of wounds received in World War 11. Among 
the major literary works which Fininberg translated into Yid- 
dish are Victor Hugos The Year 93 and Goethe s Faust. His 
own works include Fun Shlakht-feld ("From the Battlefield," 
!943)> In Rizikn Fayer ("In the Great Fire"); Geklibene Lider 
("Selected Poems," 1948). 

bibliography: Rejzen, Leksikon, 3 (1929), 75-78; E. Schul- 
man, The Fate of Soviet Jewry (New York, 1959), i9fT. add. bibli- 
ography: A. Vergelis, in: Sovetish Heymland, 12 (1969), 6-12; N. 
Oislender, in: Sovetish Heymland, 2 (1981), 119-33. 

[Elias Schulman] 

FINK, JOSEPH LIONEL (1895-1964), U.S. Reform rabbi. 
Fink was born in Springfield, Ohio, and ordained at Hebrew 
Union College in 1919, which also awarded him an honor- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


ary D.D. in 1949. He earned his B.A. from the University of 
Cincinnati in 1915, his M.A. from the University of Chicago 
in 1918, and his Ph.D. from Niagara University in 1919. He 
served first as rabbi of United Hebrew Congregation in Terre 
Haute, Indiana (1919-24), where as a civic leader, he incurred 
the wrath of the Ku Klux Klan, which at one point abducted 
him; he made such an impression on his captors, however, that 
after they released him and donated $1,800 to the local Com- 
munity Chest, of which Fink was chairman. 

In 1924, Fink was en route to Germany to pursue gradu- 
ate studies when he stopped over in Buffalo, n.y., and was in- 
stead persuaded to remain as rabbi of Temple Beth Zion. Over 
the course of the subsequent 40 years (34 as rabbi and six as 
rabbi emeritus, until his death), Fink was to become known 
as the leading spokesman for that city's Jewish community, 
as well as a radio personality and community affairs activist. 
His weekly broadcast, "The Humanitarian Hour," was a pop- 
ular show for more than a generation of listeners (1930-56). 
He initiated interfaith dialogue with Catholic and Protestant 
clergy, served as chaplain of the Buffalo police force and fire 
department, and was called in as a mediator of civil disputes. 
Fink founded the local Board of Jewish Education, was presi- 
dent of the Buffalo Bnai Both Lodge, and a board member 
of many civic bodies, including the Community Chest, the 
Board of Community Relations, and the University of Buf- 
falo. He was appointed to state commissions by the governor 
of New York, and engaged in public debates with Eugene V. 
Debs and Clarence D arrow. 

A strong proponent of the separation of church and 
state, Fink for many years chaired the c car's Committee on 
Church and State and wrote position papers on religion and 
state for the rabbinic organization. He served on no fewer 
than 12 ccar committees, chairing four of them. After hav- 
ing served as corresponding secretary (1928), member of the 
Executive Board (1948-50), member of the Liberal Judaism 
Education Board (1950), and vice president (1950-52), Fink 
was elected president of the ^Central Conference of American 
Rabbis (1952-54). During his tenure as president, he initiated 
the publication of the ccar Journal: A Reform Jewish Quar- 
terly^ and strengthened the ties between the recently merged 
^Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Imme- 
diately after his term of office, he was elected president of the 
*World Union for Progressive Judaism (1952). He identified 
as a Zionist and encouraged Arab-Jewish dialogue early on 
in the history of the State of Israel. 

bibliography: K.M. Olitzky, L.J. Sussman, and M.H. Stern, 
Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Source- 
book (1993). 

[Bezalel Gordon (2 nd ed.)] 

FINK, THEODORE (1855-1942), Australian press magnate, 
lawyer, and politician. Fink was born at Guernsey in the Chan- 
nel Islands and was brought up in Melbourne. He built up a 
large practice in company and mercantile law. From 1894 to 
1904 he sat in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, and in 

1899 was minister without portfolio. In 1902 he acquired a 
controlling interest in Herald Newspapers, which under his 
direction became the largest publishing house in the south- 
ern hemisphere. Fink presided over commissions on univer- 
sity, technical, and public education and in 1904 was thanked 
by Parliament for his services. It was to Fink that Australia 
largely owed the development of her news communications 
with the West. In politics, Fink evolved from progressive lib- 
eralism to right-wing conservatism. In 1998 a comprehensive 
biography of Fink was published by Don Garden, Theodore 
Fink: A Talent for Ubiquity. 

add. bibliography: Australian Dictionary of Biography; 
H.L. Rubinstein, Australia 1, 389-90. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

FINKEL, ELIEZER JUDAH (1879-1965), Lithuanian rosh 
yeshivah. Finkel received his early education from his father 
Nathan Zevi *Finkel, known as the "Sabba ["grand old man'] 
of Slobodka." He continued his studies at some of the famous 
Lithuanian yeshivot, including Slobodka, Radin, and Mir. He 
married the daughter of Elijah Baruch Kamai, head of Mir 
yeshivah, who appointed him his deputy, and in 1907 he suc- 
ceeded him. He devoted himself completely to the dissemina- 
tion of Torah in his own yeshivah and elsewhere, revealing a 
talent as teacher, spiritual guide, and administrator. His great 
abilities were particularly manifest when the yeshivah was 
destroyed by fire in 1911. Within a short time he succeeded 
in rebuilding and extending it. His preaching and influence 
reached people in all sections of society. On the outbreak of 
World War 1, he had to leave Mir and wandered throughout 
Russia, everywhere gathering students around him. In 1922 
he accepted an invitation from the heads of the Mir yeshivah 
to return as its chief spiritual director. Thousands of students 
flocked there, making it one of the greatest in the world. 
When World War 11 broke out, he again was obliged to move 
from place to place with his students, finally settling in Jeru- 
salem. There he was active in "Mir" and "Hebron* yeshivot 
and was esteemed as the "zekan rashei yeshivot" (the senior 
rosh yeshivah). The leading rabbis of his generation, including 
the Hafez Hayyim and Hayyim Ozer *Grodzinski, gave him 
every support and encouragement. His monumental work 
Divrei Eliezer (1963) on the Talmud made an impression in 
scholarly circles. 

bibliography: O.Z. Rand, Toledot Anshei Shem, 1 (1950), 


[Mordechai Hacohen] 

FINKEL, JOSHUA (1904-1983), U.S. Orientalist and scholar. 
Finkel was born in Warsaw, Poland, and was taken to the 
United States in 1913. He was ordained at the Jewish Theologi- 
cal Seminary. He studied the relationship of Islam to Judaism. 
Part of his research included Persian, Egyptian, and Arabic 
texts in manuscript. He spent the years 1924-26 in research 
in *Egypt, where he procured the manuscripts of the three 
Arabic epistles of al-Jahiz (c. 776-868), a celebrated Muslim 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



polygraph, which he published in *Cairo in 1926. From 1937 he 
taught Semitic languages at Yeshiva University. His later inter- 
est in psychoanalysis produced some studies in which he ap- 
plied psychoanalytic theories to Jewish cultural phenomena. 
Among his published works are Three Essays of ... al- 
Jahiz (1926); "Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan Influences on 
Arabia" (in The Mac-Donald (Duncan Black) Presentation Vol- 
ume (1933), 145-66); "Maimonides* Treatise on Resurrection* 
(in paajr, 9 (1938/39), 57-105); "Old Israelitish Tradition in 
Koran* (ibid., 2 (1931), 7-21); and "The Arabic Story of Abra- 
ham" (in huca, 12-13 (!938)> 387-409). 

add. bibliography: S. Hoenig Sidney (ed.), Joshua Finkel 
Festschrift (1974). 

[Abraham Solomon Halkin] 

FINKEL, NATHAN ZEVI BEN MOSES (1849-1927), rosh 
yeshivah and one of the leaders of the *Musar movement. Born 
in Raseiniai, Lithuania, Finkel was orphaned at an early age 
and brought up in his uncles home in Vilna. At the age of 15 
he was already acknowledged as a rabbinic scholar. A chance 
meeting in 1871 with Simhah Zissel b. Israel *Broida, known 
as the "Sabba [grandfather] of Kelme" and one of the out- 
standing disciples of Israel *Lipkin (Salanter), founder of the 
Musar movement, had a profound effect upon Finkel. He was 
so struck by the forcefulness of Simhah Broidas personality 
that he became his most devoted follower, dedicating his life 
to the dissemination of the doctrine of musar. Finkel first as- 
sisted Broida in directing his well-known yeshivah, Bet Tal- 
mud, which had recently transferred from Kelme to Grobina 
and aimed at combining the traditional method of Talmud 
study with that of musar. Because of a difference in views, 
however, Finkel left the yeshivah and established a *kolel for 
young married men, the first of its kind in *Slobodka. He also 
exerted a spiritual influence over the kolel *perushim of Kovno, 
established in 1879 and directed by Isaac Elhanan *Spektor, 
rabbi of the city. In addition to these activities Finkel was the 
overseer of the yeshivah Or ha-Hayyim. 

In 1882 Finkel established in Slobodka his own inde- 
pendent yeshivah, Keneset Israel, where hundreds of rabbis 
and talmudic scholars were educated. Finkel himself refused 
to accept any salary from the yeshivah. Supported from 
the proceeds of a small store managed by his wife, he was 
able to live with his students. In 1897 Finkel set up a branch of 
his yeshivah in Slutsk and also assisted in the founding of ye- 
shivot in Telz, Bransk, Stutsin, Shklov, Lodz, and Grodno, as 
well as many minor yeshivot. At the outbreak of World War 1 
the yeshivah of Slobodka was moved to Minsk and in 1916 
to Kremenchug in the Ukraine, where it remained until 1920. 
In 1921 Finkel reestablished a kolel, Bet Yisrael, with 20 young 
married students, in Slobodka, and entrusted its adminis- 
tration to his son-in-law, Eisik Scherr. When in 1924 it was 
decided to establish a branch of the yeshivah in Erez Israel, 
in Hebron, Finkel followed in 1925 and played a prominent 
role in its spiritual leadership. As a mark of the deep admi- 
ration which his students felt for him they dubbed him the 

"Sabba from Slobodka" in the manner of the title previously 
given to his own teacher, and it was thus that Finkel was best 

Finkel, an outstanding pedagogue and educator, based 
his ethical system upon the eminence of man. "A soldier," he 
said, "who does not aspire to the rank of general is not even 
a soldier." He stressed the need for perfection and love of 
truth and for spirituality in ones daily life to justify the fact 
that "everything created was created for the sake of man." In 
1881 he anonymously published Ez Peri, containing essays by 
Israel Lipkin and Isaac Elhanan Spector, with an introduction 
by Israel Meir ha-Kohen, author of the Hafez Hayyim. In his 
regular talks with his pupils he stressed the greatness of man 
and the profound compassion of God toward His creatures, 
which demands a similar compassion on their part. Man's pur- 
pose in the world is to attain such perfection that he imitates 
the characteristics and ways of God. 

Finkel left no manuscripts. His discourses and way of life 
were summarized after his death in the Or ha-Zafun (1928, 
1959-68 2 ), arranged according to the weekly portions of the 
Book of Exodus. These discourses were compiled from cop- 
ies of the "musar talks" he delivered in Slobodka and Hebron. 
In most cases those who noted them did so in the manner in 
which they were delivered. At times, however, the editors ex- 
panded the contents and put the ideas in a more acceptable 
literary form. A collection of his discourses, Sihot ha-Sabba 
mi-Slobodka, was published by Z. Kaplan (1955). At present 
there exist numerous yeshivot founded by his disciples where 
his system is studied. Of his sons, Moses was principal of the 
Hebron yeshivah, Eliezer Judah of the Mir yeshivah, and Sam- 
uel one of the promoters of the Grodno yeshivah. 

bibliography: D. Katz, Tenuat ha-Musar, 3 (n.d.), 17-316; 
Zinowitz, in: Shanah be-Shanah, 1 (1961), 347-52; H.E. Zeitschik, Ha- 
Mebrot ha-Gedolim (1967 s ), 206-59; M. Gerz, in: L.S. Dawidowicz 
(ed.), Golden Tradition (1967), 179-85. 

[Itzhak Alfassi] 

FINKEL, SHIMON (1905-1999), actor. Finkel was born in 
Grodno, Belorussia. He appeared on the local stage as a boy 
and later joined a Yiddish theatrical group. In 1922 he pro- 
ceeded to Berlin, where he was accepted in the Max Rein- 
hardt School of Dramatic Art. In 1923 he joined a group of 
actors who came from Erez Israel to complete their studies 
in Berlin, with the aim of establishing a Hebrew theater in 
Erez Israel. His first appearance in Hebrew was as Daniel in 
Menahem Gnessins production of Belshazzar in Berlin in 
1924. Emigrating to Erez Israel in that year, he appeared in 
various productions of the Israel theater founded at the end 
of the year, and in 1927 joined Habimah, his first appearance 
being as Menashe in The Dybbuk. He toured in many coun- 
tries and represented the Israel theater at various congresses 
of the International Theatrical Institute (iti). In 1961-62 and 
1971-75 he was artistic director of Habimah. In all, he wrote 
11 books about the theater. He was awarded the Israel Prize 
for arts in 1969. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


FINKELSTEIN, ARTHUR (1945- ), U.S. political consultant 
and campaign director. Born in Brookyn to East European im- 
migrant parents, Finkelstein was a graduate of Queens Col- 
lege. He served as a demographic analyst in Richard Nixon's 
1972 reelection campaign and worked as a political consul- 
tant exclusively for Republican candidates, ranging from Jesse 
Helms, who in 1978 won a brutal race where the religion of his 
Jewish opponent was at issue, to Alfonse *D'Amato. 

Finkelstein worked in the 1980 presidential campaigns of 
Ronald Reagan and Senator Robert Dole. Finkelstein's cam- 
paigns have a style all their own. He avoids the limelight, never 
giving interviews or press conferences, seldom if ever being 
photographed. He tries to tag the political opponent as lib- 
eral. His own Jewish identity and pro-Israeli leanings do not 
restrain him from pointing out the non-Christian religious 
beliefs of political opponents. He helped orchestrate Alfonse 
D'Amato's successful primary victory over veteran liberal Re- 
publican Senator Jacob * Javits in New York, where he success- 
fully exploited Javits ill health - he had a degenerative muscu- 
lar disease - without alienating voters or creating sympathy 
for the hitherto popular senator. He then skillfully positioned 
DAmato to win the Senate seat in a three-way contest against 
two Jews, Representative Liz Holtzman and Javits, who stayed 
in the race as the Liberal Party candidate. He was to repeat 
his giant-killing ability in 1994 when he advised George Pa- 
taki in his race against three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo 
for governor of New York. 

With the Americanization of Israel in the 1990s, this 
style of campaigning was introduced into Israeli politics by 
both the left and right. Labor candidates imported Demo- 
cratic pollsters and strategists such as James Carville and the 
Likud, most especially Binyamin ^Netanyahu, called in Arthur 
Finkelstein. He helped orchestrate Netanyahu's come-from- 
behind victory over Shimon *Peres. His string of victories 
was broken in 1998 when Senator DAmato lost his reelec- 
tion bid to Charles *Schumer and Senator Launch Faircloth 
of North Carolina lost to John Edwards. In anticipation 
of the 2006 reelection bid of Senator Hillary Clinton, he 
was the mastermind behind a Stop Her Now Political Ac- 
tion Committee seeking to weaken an expected 2008 Presi- 
dential bid. 

Deeply private, even reclusive, about his personal life, 
Finkelstein surprised many Conservative admirers by mar- 
rying his long-time male companion in Massachusetts, the 
only state where such unions are permitted. They have ad- 
opted two children. 

[Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

FINKELSTEIN, CHAIM (1911-2000), educator and Zionist 
leader in Argentina. Born in Brest Litovsk (Brisk), Poland, he 
studied in a secular Jewish school of cysho and in a second- 
ary Tarbut school. Member of the Borochov youth movement, 
at 17 he became its local secretary. Without pedagogical train- 
ing he started to teach children and gave evening courses for 
young people. Failing to obtain a certificate of immigration 

to Palestine, he immigrated in 1930 to Argentina. In 1931 he 
started to work as a teacher in one of the Borochov schools 
in Buenos Aires. 

When in 1932 the Federal Police closed the Borochov 
schools that were suspected of communism, Finkelstein was 
arrested together with other teachers and activists. After be- 
ing released from jail he started to promote the establishing 
of an organization of modern Jewish secular, left and Zionist 
schools. In January 1934, tzvisho - Tzentral Veltlech Yid- 
dishe Shul Organizatzie was founded as a new central secu- 
lar and Zionist school organization, tvisho and the schools 
Sholem Aleichem that it established, identified with Left 
Po'alei Zion. 

At the end of the 1930s Finkelstein convinced the school 
activists that a new and modern building was needed for the 
school. With the economic support of large Jewish sectors and 
of the Hevra Kadisha (the Ashkenazi Community), they built 
a new school that was inaugurated in 1942 - the first mod- 
ern Jewish school in Buenos Aires with its own new building. 
Finkelstein opened a teacher-training course with officially 
accredited teachers and formed a team that elaborated a new 
study program in Yiddish. Finkelstein introduced the study 
of Hebrew in 1947 in the upper classes of the primary school, 
and it gradually expanded to all the grades. In the 1960s it 
became the main language for Jewish studies. Finkelstein 
and his colleagues established as part of tzvisho a summer 
camp, Kinderland; student clubs; and other enrichment pro- 
grams. In the 1960s they also established the first tzvisho 
day school - Ramat Shalom. 

Finkelstein was secretary general of the Ahdut ha-Avo- 
dad - Po'alei Zion party in Argentina. From 1946 he partici- 
pated in the Zionist Congresses and from 1950 he was member 
of its Va'ad Ha-Poel (General Council). Following his election 
as head of the Department of Education and Culture in the 
Diaspora and the Executive of the World Zionist Organiza- 
tion (1968-1978) he settled in Israel. He also headed the Beit 
ha-Tanakh Ha-Olami (World Bible House, 1978-1994) in Jeru- 
salem and Beit Rishonei Po'alei Zion in Tel Aviv. 

[EfraimZadoff(2 nd ed.)] 

FINKELSTEIN, HEINRICH (1865-1942), German pedi- 
atrician. Finkelstein was born in Leipzig where he studied 
medicine. From 1894 to 1901 he was assistant at the children's 
clinic of the Charite Hospital in Berlin. In 1901 he took over 
the management of the Berlin City Orphanage and in 1918 be- 
came director of the Kaiser und Kaiserin Friedrich children's 
hospital. He held this position until the Hitler regime forced 
him to emigrate. He went to Chile, where he died. As head 
of the Berlin orphanage, Finkelstein made a detailed study 
of the causes of diarrhea in newborn babies and came to the 
conclusion that many infant alimentary disorders are due to 
metabolic disturbances rather than to bacteria. This led him 
on to research which resulted in the discovery that carbohy- 
drate and salt in milk are the principal causes of diarrhea in 
babies. He introduced "albumin milk," and thereby succeeded 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



in substantially reducing infant mortality at the orphanage. 
Finkelstein proceeded to make a new clinical classification 
of alimentary disorders based on metabolic disturbances, 
dyspepsia, and alimentary toxication. He made studies of 
several other children's diseases, particularly those con- 
nected with the skin. His Lehrbuch der Saeuglingskrankheiten 
(1905) covered his findings in this field. He also published 
Hautkrankheiten und Syphilis im Saeuglings-und Kindesalter 

bibliography: S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 363. 

[Suessmann Muntner] 

FINKELSTEIN, ISRAEL (1949- ). Israeli archaeologist, spe- 
cializing in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Born in Tel Aviv, Fin- 
kelstein received his high school education in Petah Tikva, 
before serving in the army. He undertook his graduate stud- 
ies at Tel Aviv University in Archaeology and Near Eastern 
Studies, and in Geography, completing his M.A. in 1978, and 
writing a Ph.D. on the Izbet Sartah excavations in 1983. Fin- 
kelstein began teaching in various institutions from the late 
1970s, serving as an associate professor at Bar-Ilan University 
(1987-90) and at the University of Chicago (1987), before tak- 
ing up a full-time position at Tel Aviv University in 1990 and as 
a full professor (from 1992), becoming the director of the So- 
nia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology between 1996 
and 2003 and the incumbent of the Jacob M. Alkow Chair in 
the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages from 
2002. Finkelstein has been the mentor and guide for many of 
the younger generations of Israeli archaeologists. 

Having participated from the early 1970s in major ar- 
chaeological excavations at Tel Beer Sheva, Tel Aphek and in 
surveys in Sinai, Finkelstein became the field director of the 
Izbet Sartah excavations between 1976-78, and later the di- 
rector of excavations at Shiloh (1981-84), the director of the 
Southern Samaria Survey (1980-87), and more recently a co- 
director (together with D. Ussishkin and B. Halpern) of the 
important excavations at Megiddo. Finkelstein is a prolific 
writer with more than 130 articles to his credit, and numer- 
ous books, notably The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement 
(1988) and Living on the Fringe: The Archaeology and History 
of the Negev, Sinai and Neighbouring Regions in the Bronze and 
Iron Ages (1995). In a key article published in 1996 titled "The 
Archaeology of the United Monarchy: An Alternative View" 
(Levant 28: 177-87), Finkelstein suggested lowering the con- 
ventional dates for the Early Iron Age by 75-100 years, thereby 
sparking off an important debate amongst scholars on matters 
relating to the absolute chronology of the Iron Age. Finkel- 
steins controversial views were summed up in his book The 
Bible Unearthed: Archaeology s New Vision of Ancient Israel 
and the Origin of its Sacred Texts (2001; co-authored with 
N.A. Silberman). 

In 2005 Finkelstein was made laureate of the prestigious 
Dan David Prize in the Past Dimension - Archaeology. 

[Shimon Gibson (2 nd ed.)] 

FINKELSTEIN, JACOB JOEL (1922-1974), U.S. Assyri- 
ologist, specializing in cuneiform law. Born in New York to 
Orthodox Jewish parents his early education included ye- 
shivah training, but Finkelstein himself later moved far away 
from Orthodoxy. Though he graduated with honors from 
high school, full-time college was not within his means 
and he went to work as a presser. In World War 11 he served 
in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and at the war's end resumed 
his studies at Brooklyn College (B.A., 1948), and then at the 
University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. 1953) where he was strongly 
influenced by his teacher, E.A. Speiser. After graduating, 
he was a research assistant with A. Goetze in the Near East- 
ern Languages Dept. at Yale University from 1953 to 1955. 
From 1956 to 1965 he taught Assyriology at the University 
of California in Berkeley, and in 1965 was appointed profes- 
sor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature at Yale Uni- 

Finkelstein was the author of studies in Mesopotamian 
history, historiography, and law, but his interest focused in- 
creasingly on the last. At the time of his premature death of 
heart failure, he was preparing a fuller exposition of the con- 
trast between biblical and Mesopotamian law based on an 
analysis of the "goring-ox rules" (cf. p. 269, n. 308 of "The 
Goring Ox" in the Temple Law Quarterly, 46:2 (1973), 169 f.), 
which is a programmatic fragment of the intended work. His 
lasting contribution, however, will likely be his numerous 
copies of cuneiform texts, mainly from the collections of the 
British Museum and Yale University, which testify to his skill 
as an interpreter of tablets. 

Among his studies are "Cuneiform Texts from Tell Billa," 
Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 7 (1953), inf.; "Mesopotamian 
Historiography," Proceedings of the American Philosophical 
Society, 107 (1963), 46if.; "The Genealogy of the Hammurapi 
Dynasty," Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 20 (1966), 95 f.; "Sex 
Offenses in Sumerian Law," Journal of the American Orien- 
tal Society, 86 (1966), 355 f.; Old Babylonian Legal Documents 
(1968); "The Laws of Ur Nammu," Journal of Cuneiform Stud- 
ies, 22 (1968), 66f.; "An Old Babylonian Herding Contract and 
Genesis 31:38^," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 88 
(1968), 30; u Ha-Mishpat ba-Mizrah ha-Kadmon" Enziklopediya 
Mikrait, 5 (1968), 588f.; translations in J. Pritchard (ed.), An- 
cient Near Eastern Texts (1969): "Collections of Laws from 
Mesopotamia and Asia Minor," 523 f., "Documents from the 
Practice of Law," 542f., Late Old Babylonian Documents and 
Letters (1972). 

bibliography: H. HofTner, Jr., in: jaos, 95 (1975), 589-91; M. 
Dejong Ellis, Essays on the Ancient Near East in Memory of Jacob Joel 
Finkelstein (1977); J. Finkelstein, The Ox that Gored (published post- 
humously by Ellis; 1981); T. Frymer-Kensky, in, ba 45 (1982), 189. 

[Aaron Shaffer] 

FINKELSTEIN, LOUIS (1895-1991), U.S. Conservative rabbi, 
scholar, and educator. Finkelstein was born in Cincinnati. His 
father, an Orthodox rabbi, supervised his early Jewish educa- 
tion. He graduated from the College of the City of New York 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


(1915) and took his Ph.D. at Columbia University (1918). Or- 
dained at the ^Jewish Theological Seminary in 1919, Finkel- 
stein served for more than ten years as rabbi of Congregation 
Kehilath Israel in New York City, but his close association 
with the seminary continued. A year after his ordination he 
began teaching Talmud there, and in 1924 he began teaching 
theology; from 1931 he was professor of theology. He rose to 
prominence early. He was president of the ^Rabbinical As- 
sembly from 1928 to 1930 at the age of 33. He was groomed 
by Cyrus Adler as his successor. He also assumed more and 
more administrative responsibility, as assistant to the presi- 
dent (1934), provost (1937), president (1940), and chancellor 
(from 1951-1972). 

Under his leadership the seminary attained national 
prominence in both Jewish and interfaith activities, expand- 
ing its academic scope by initiating the Institute for Religious 
and Social Studies, for example, and its public education work 
through the * Jewish Museum and the radio and television pro- 
gram The Eternal Light, among other innovations. 

Finkelstein was generally acknowledged to be the lead- 
ing personality in the Conservative wing of Judaism and put 
his stamp on the movement, in general vigorously supporting 
more traditionalist segments, often over the initial opposition 
of the Seminary s alumni. The only other leader of Conserva- 
tive Judaism who ever wielded such power and influence was 
Solomon *Schecter, but then the movement was small and 
its resources meager. In the Finkelstein era, the Conservative 
movement was the largest religious movement in American 
Judaism and the Seminary was the home of great scholars such 
as Louis *Ginzberg and Saul *Lieberman in Talmud and H.L. 
*Ginzberg in Bible. He recruited Abraham Joshua *Heschel 
to the Seminary Faculty in 1945 after Hebrew Union College 
had saved him from the Holocaust by sponsoring his immi- 
gration to the United States in 1939. The Seminary was a place 
of diverse views and differing ideologies. Kaplan and Heschel, 
Lieberman and Finkelstein coexisted and struggled for the loy- 
alty of the students. Talmudic knowledge was most revered 
of all. The professors were described as cardinals, secure in 
their learning and stature, at a distance from their students 
and from the rabbis they had ordained. 

Finkelstein oversaw attempts to create a Conservative 
movement-trained leadership and not to rely on recruiting 
the sons of Orthodox Judaism who sought entry into a wider 
American world. Leadership Training Fellowship was begun 
in 1946; Camp Ramah was inaugurated in 1947 and provided 
the leadership of the Conservative Movement for the next 
two generations. 

Finkelstein became one of the most famous Jewish lead- 
ers of his age, at home with presidents and prime minis- 
ters. President Roosevelt in 1940 appointed him presidential 
adviser for Judaism on steps toward world peace; Finkel- 
stein pronounced the prayers at the inauguration of Presi- 
dent Eisenhower; President Kennedy appointed him to the 
U.S. delegation to the coronation of Pope Paul vi in 1963; 
President Nixon invited him to preach at special religious 

services in the White House. He was on the cover of Time 

At his core, Finkelstein remained a working scholar. 
He rose early and studied daily. He wrote and edited many 
books and articles on general problems in religion, sociol- 
ogy, culture, and ethics. He edited the widely used Jews: Their 
History, Culture, and Religion (1949, i960 3 ) as well as many 
of the publications of the seminary s Conference on Science, 
Philosophy and Religion and the seminary s Institute of Reli- 
gious and Social Studies. He not only stimulated and assisted 
the research of other scholars but continued his own primary 
research and publication. Despite his manifold administra- 
tive and communal obligations, Finkelsteins central preoc- 
cupation remained what it was in his student days: study and 
research in the history and literature of classical Judaism. 
He published more than a hundred critical investigations of 
fundamental documents of Judaism, exploring the historical 
and social conditions reflected in liturgical texts, for example 
in the prayers Shema, Amidah, Birkat ha-Mazon, Hallel, and 
proving their antiquity, dating some of them very early, pos- 
sibly as biblical; exploring the composition of several of the 
tannaitic Midrashim; and investigating the principal teach- 
ings and doctrines of Pharisaism, His social and economic 
studies of the Pharisees, especially his Pharisees (2 vols., 1938, 
1966 3 ), roused controversy because of his assertions that eco- 
nomic and social conditions influenced the formation of 
Pharisaic ideology. These studies lifted the discussion of his- 
torical problems from the parochial or purely doctrinal to the 
broad plane of social history. Finkelstein^ Jewish Self-Govern- 
ment in the Middle Ages (1924, 1964 2 ) remained an important 
source for medievalists and students of post-talmudic hala- 
khah and institutions. He also edited Commentary of David 
Kimhi on Isaiah (1926, repr. 1969) and wrote Akiba - Scholar, 
Saint, Martyr (1936, 1962); Ha-Perushim ve-Anshei Keneset ha- 
Gedolah ("Pharisees and the Great Synagogue," 1950), which 
carried on in depth the investigation of his Pharisees; and 
New Light from the Prophets (1969), in which he traced cer- 
tain Pharisaic emphases and sayings in the early Midrashim 
to the time of the prophets. He was drawn to the early clas- 
sical treatises, which gave him insight into some of the earli- 
est halakhic trends in Jewish Palestine. He also published the 
Assemani Codex Manuscript of the Sifra (1956, reissued 1970); 
Sifrei (1939, repr. 1969); and Mavo le-Massekhtot Avot ve-Avot 
de-Rabbi Natan (1950), an introduction to these talmudic 

In all his scholarly work Finkelstein exhibited a fas- 
tidious attention to detail, particularly to textual variants in 
manuscripts, early printed editions, and citations in geonic 
and post-geonic literary works, and an awareness of what is 
central in each period. In both his scholarly and his admin- 
istrative activities, he made enormous contributions to the 
understanding and acceptance of the values and insights of 
talmudic-rabbinic Judaism. 

bibliography: H. Parzen, Architects of Conservative Juda- 
ism (1964); M. Davis, Emergence of Conservative Judaism (1963); M. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Sklare, Conservative Judaism (1955); ajyb, 45 (1943/44), 63; Liebman, 
ibid., 69 (1968), 3-112. 

[Judah Goldin / Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

FINKELSTEIN, NOAH (1871-1946), Zionist leader and 
Yiddish newspaper publisher, born in Brest-Litovsk. An ac- 
tive Zionist from the time of the first Zionist Congresses, at 
first in Brest-Litovsk and later in Warsaw, Finkelstein was 
among the supporters of the ^Uganda project, and later be- 
came a *Territorialist. He belonged to the *Benei Zion circle 
of Zionist intelligentsia connected with the Sha'arei Zion Syn- 
agogue in Warsaw, which became a center of the Territorial - 
ists. In 1906, with his brother Nehemiah and his friend Sam- 
uel Jacob Jackan, Finkelstein began publication of Yidishes 
Tagblaty a newspaper which gained readers from groups who 
until then had not been attracted to the Hebrew or Yiddish 
press. Two years later, in 1908, they founded the daily *Haynt, 
which became the most popular Zionist newspaper in Poland. 
Although Finkelstein was responsible for administration, he 
considerably influenced editorial policy. In 1912, during the 
elections to the Fourth *Duma, he was one of the most ener- 
getic organizers of Jewish defense against the violent antise- 
mitic propaganda and ^boycott proclaimed by the Polish right 
wing against the Jews in Warsaw, whose vote for the socialist 
candidate had caused the defeat of the right-wing nominee, 
After the amalgamation of Haynt with the Zionist organ Dos 
Yidishe Folk, Finkelstein left for Paris. From 1926 to 1940, also 
with the same partners, he began to publish the newspaper 
Der Parizer Haynt, which had to contend against opposition 
from Bundist and Communist immigrants who had arrived 
in France from Eastern Europe. 

bibliography: Y. Gruenbaum, Penei ha-Dor, 1 (1957), 273-7; 
E. Steinman (ed.), Sefer Brisk (= eg, vol. 2, 1954), index; ajyb, 49 
(1947/48), 621. add. bibliography: Ch. Finkelstein, Haynt, a 
Tsaitung bay Yiden 1908-1939 (1978), index. 

[Moshe Landau] 

FINKELSTEIN, SHIMON (1861-1947), U.S. rabbi and au- 
thor. Born in Slobodka, Lithuania. Finkelstein was recognized 
as a child as a brilliant talmudist by some of the great schol- 
ars of his learned city. After his bar mitzvah, he studied at the 
Kovno Yeshivah. At the age of 17 he came under the influence 
of a maskil, who encouraged him to leave his rabbinic studies 
and travel. This led his father to insist that he study a bit more, 
and he moved to Rumsheshok, where he was exposed to the 
teachings of the *Musar movement. He studied with a major 
disciple of Rabbi Israel *Salanter, Rabbi Isaac Blazer, and was 
ordained in 1882 by Rabbi Judah Meshil ha-Kohen, and one 
year later by Rabbi Isaac Elchanan *Spector. 

With Spector s approval he immigrated to the United 
States in 1887, serving for three years in Baltimore and then 
from 1890 to 1896 in Cincinnati, where he was rabbi to Con- 
gregation Beth Tephila. In Cincinnati he was exposed to Re- 
form Judaism and apparently even offered a position at He- 
brew Union College, which he declined. He did, however, 

recognize that Reform Judaism was keeping some Jews Jew- 
ish who were unmoved by Orthodoxy and might otherwise 
have left Judaism. The salaries of Orthodox rabbis were quite 
low and Finkelstein got into some legal trouble while offici- 
ating at a divorce and was sued in secular court. He also for 
a time tried to produce kosher food products in competition 
with Manischewitz, a company that became synonymous with 
kosher food products in the United States. In 1896 he moved 
to Syracuse, New York, and six years later to Congregation 
Ohev Shalom in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, which had 
a rapidly growing Jewish community. He remained there for 
some four decades. 

Finkelstein was a scholar and an authority on Jewish law. 
Among his books are Reshut Bikkuri (1889), Bikkurei Anavim 
(1899), and Bet Yizhak (1923). Among his eight children was 
Louis ^Finkelstein, a rabbinic scholar who became chancellor 
of the Jewish Theological Seminary and who, like his father, 
was personally punctilious in his observance while being open 
to and indeed changing Judaism for a changing world. 

bibliography: M.D. Sherman, Orthodox Judaism in Amer- 
ica: A Bibliographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1996). 

[Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

FINKIELKRAUT, ALAIN (1949- ), French author and 
thinker. After a short academic career in which he taught in 
France and the United States, Finkielkraut devoted himself to 
writing books, articles, and radio programs, many of which 
deal with issues of contemporary Jewry. His books delineated 
the problems of the Jew in the Diaspora from the cultural and 
social aspects as well as the problem of his link to Jewish his- 
tory and to Israel as a central issue (Le Juif imaginaire, 1980; 
The Imaginary Jew, 1994). He has dealt with antisemitism, the 
revisionist historians who have distorted the history of World 
War 11 (Lavenir dune negation; 1982; The Future of a Negation: 
Reflections on the Question of Genocide, 1998 ), and incitement 
against the State of Israel (La reprobation d'Israel; 1983), using 
a system close to that of the "New Philosophers" of France. 
His thought was also influenced by that of the Jewish philos- 
opher Emmanuel *Levinas: La sagesse de I amour (1984; The 
Wisdom of Love, 1997) gave a tangible dimension to Levinas' 
concept of the relationship to otherness as the constituent el- 
ement of humanity. 

In 1986 Finkielkraut became the youngest recipient of 
the prestigious prize of French Jewry, the Prix de la Founda- 
tion du Judaisme Francais. In La defaite de lapensee (1987; The 
Defeat of the Mind, 1995), Finkielkraut sharply denounced the 
rise of relativism in Western liberal societies. The book had 
a great impact and got him labeled a "conservative" thinker. 
Two years later he published his reflections on the collective 
memory of the Jewish genocide and on the idea of crimes 
against humanity in the context of the Klaus Barbie trial (La 
memoire vaine, du crime contre Vhumanite, 1989; Remembering 
in Vain: The Klaus Barbie Trial and Crimes against Humanity, 
1992). In 1992, after an intellectual portrait of early 20 th century 
French author Charles Peguy (Le mecontemporain: Charles Pe- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


guy, lecteur du monde moderne), he published a selection of 
his writings relating to the Yugoslavian fighting of the early 
1990s, during which he had supported the Croatians (Com- 
ment peut-on etre croate?, 1992; Dispatches from the Balkan 
War and Other Writings, 1999). In 2002, the Second Intifada in 
the Palestinian -Israeli conflict and the rise of new forms of an- 
tisemitism led him to broadcast a weekly program on a Jewish 
radio station. While supporting a two -state solution and criti- 
cizing some aspects of Israeli policy, Finkielkraut took a strong 
stand against the penchant of intellectuals to call into ques- 
tion the legitimacy of Zionism and of Israel as the state of the 
Jewish people. In his 2002 chronicles (L'imparfait du present) 
and his 2003 essay Aw nom de Vautre, sur Vantisemitisme qui 
vient, he described how current hatred of Jews has adopted 
the fashionable Western dogma of radical universalism. Jews, 
asserts Finkielkraut, are no longer criticized for their cosmo- 
politanism: they are conversely accused of having replaced 
their supposed universal fate with what these new progenitors 
of antisemitism perceive as anachronistic and harmful efforts 
to persist as a specific human group, either as communities 
or in the framework of a nation-state. Finkielkraut came to 
be considered the most significant of young French thinkers 
who deal with current issues of Jewish existence. 

add. bibliography: R. Kimball, "The Treason of the In- 
tellectuals and 'the Undoing of Thought," in: The New Criterion, vol. 
ii, no. 4 (Dec. 1992); N. Rachlin, "Alain Finkielkraut and the Politics 
of Cultural Identity," in: Substance: A Review of Theory and Literary 
Criticism, vol. 24, no. 1-2 (1995), 76-77. 

[Gideon Kouts / Dror Franck Sullaper (2 nd ed.)] 

FINLAND (Finnish Suomi) republic in N. Europe. Until 1809 
it was part of the kingdom of Sweden, where Jews had been 
prohibited from settling within its borders. When in 1809 Fin- 
land became a grand duchy in the Russian Empire, Czar Al- 
exander I declared that he would not change any of the exist- 
ing Swedish laws, and the prohibition on Jewish settlement in 
Finland therefore continued. The first Jews to settle in Finland 
were *Cantonists who served in the garrisons in Helsinki (in 
the Sveaborg fort) and in Vyborg for up to 25 years, and were 
permitted when discharged to remain in Finland. Every resi- 
dence permit issued to them, however, was bitterly opposed 
by the local authorities. When the Finnish authorities failed 
to have the permits given by the Russians canceled, they in- 
stead endeavored to undermine the position of the Jews by a 
series of severe restrictions, limiting their places of residence, 
curtailing their freedom of movement in the province, and 
limiting the occupations open to them. Jews were subject to 
constant control by the Finnish police, who required them to 
renew their residence permits every three months. They were 
permitted to deal in second-hand clothes only and forbidden 
to leave their city of residence or attend the fairs. The slight- 
est violation of any of these limitations served as a ground for 
expulsion from Finland. Children were allowed to live with 
their parents only until coming of age. Jews conscripted to the 
army and transferred to Russia were not allowed to return to 


























Major centers of Jewish population in Finland. 

Finland after their discharge. For relief from these disabilities 
the Jews could only turn to the military governor in St. Peters- 
burg who was responsible for the Jewish soldiers. 

The struggle for equal rights for Jews continued for 
many decades and was taken up in the Finnish and Swedish 
press and in debates in the Finnish diet (parliament). Oppo- 
sition came mainly from the clergy, while many landowners 
were sympathetic toward the Jewish problem. In 1872 two 
members of the sejm, Leo Mechelin and Antti Puhakka, called 
for the removal of some of these limitations on the Jews as 
the "people of the Book" but the sejm rejected the proposal. 
Toward the late 1870s Jews began to deal in new clothes 
which they produced or imported from factories in St. Pe- 
tersburg. The debate on Jewish emancipation continued in the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



press during the 1880s. While the Swedish intelligentsia 
demanded reforms, the reactionary Finnish press obstinately 
opposed any change in the status of the Jews. The antisem- 
ites Meurman and Kihlman were opposed by Prof. Runeberg, 
son of the celebrated Finnish poet, by Bishop Alopaeus and 
by Barons Alfthan and Wrede. A law authorizing Jews to re- 
side in the cities of Helsinki, Turku, and Vyborg was enacted 
in 1889. At that time there were 1,000 Jews resident in Fin- 

At the beginning of the 20 th century, mainly after the 
Russian revolution of 1905, signs of sympathy toward Jews 
were manifested by the nascent socialist movement in Fin- 
land. However in 1908 the restrictions still remained in force. 
The Danish- Jewish author Georg *Brandes, who went on a 
lecture tour in Finland that year, stated ironically in an inter- 
view with the Finnish press before he left: "I have commit- 
ted three serious sins here. As a Jew, I was permitted to stay 
in your country for only three days, however I have stayed 
here for four consecutive days; as a Jew, I was permitted only 
to trade in rags, however here I lectured on world literature; 
and as a Jew, it is forbidden for me to marry here, but in spite 
of all this no one prohibited me from courting in your coun- 
try... " In 1906 the third convention of Russian Zionists met 
in Helsinki and adopted the Helsingfors ^Program. In 1909 
the liberal elements in the Finnish parliament overcame the 
opposition of the extreme conservatives and by a majority of 
112 to 48 a law was accepted abolishing the restrictions. How- 
ever, the Russian government delayed its ratification and the 
Jews did not receive full civil rights until 1917 when Finland 
became independent. 

Between the two world wars the Jewish population in- 
creased to 2,000 as a result of emigration from Russia during 
the early period of the revolution. Many of the Jewish youth 
studied in universities, and Jews entered the liberal profes- 
sions as physicians, lawyers, and engineers. Others turned to 
industry and forestry, but the majority continued in the textile 
and clothing business. With a few isolated exceptions the Jews 
did not take part in internal party politics or join any political 
movement. The author and Mizrachi leader Simon *Feder- 
busch officiated as chief rabbi of Finland from 1930 to 1940. 

During the Finnish-Russian War of 1939-40, Jews fought 
alongside the Finns. When Viipuri (Vyborg) was annexed to 
the Soviet Union, the Jews (about 300 persons) evacuated 
the city along with the Finns. During World War 11 (1941-44) 
Finland fought on the German side against the Soviet Union, 
but, despite strong German pressure, the Finnish authorities, 
headed by Field Marshal Mannerheim refused to enforce 
anti- Jewish legislation. 160 Jews who did not possess Finnish 
nationality found refuge in neutral Sweden. At one stage the 
Finns yielded and allowed the Gestapo to deport 50 Jews from 
Finland who had arrived as refugees from Austria and the Bal- 
tic countries before the Nazi invasion. However, after the dis- 
patch of the first transport of eight of the refugees, only one 
of whom survived, Mannerheim and the Finnish authorities 
refused to continue the operation. The peace treaty between 

the Allies and Finland prohibited racial discrimination and 
thereafter Jews again enjoyed full civil rights. 

The Jewish community in Finland has always been deeply 
conscious of its Jewish traditions, and Yiddish is still used to 
some extent by the older generation. In 1968 the Jewish pop- 
ulation numbered 1,750 (approximately 1,330 in Helsinki, 350 
in Turku, and 50 in Tampere), dropping to around 1,100 at the 
turn of the century. The community was represented by a com- 
munity council of 32 members. In Helsinki, a Jewish kinder- 
garten (founded in 1953) and a comprehensive Jewish school 
(1918) with nearly 100 students were in operation, along with 
a full range of religious, cultural, and social services and ac- 
tive Zionist organizations. The rate of intermarriage was high. 
Twenty-nine Jewish youths from Finland fought in the Israel 
War of Independence, and over 100 Finnish Jews settled in 
the State of Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector. In 1979, 
Ben Zyskowicz became the first Finnish Jew to be elected to 


[Yehuda Gaulan] 

Relations with Israel 

In 1948 formal relations were established between Finland and 
Israel, first by reciprocal appointment of honorary consuls. In 
February 1951, Israel appointed Abraham Nissan, its minister 
in Sweden, as its nonresident minister in Helsinki. In 1953 a 
regular Israel legation was established in Helsinki, headed by 
a charge daff aires. In i960 with the expansion of political and 
cultural ties between the two countries, a resident Israel min- 
ister was appointed in Finland and a Finnish minister in Israel. 
In 1962 both missions were elevated to the ambassadorial level. 
At that time Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion visited Fin- 
land on the invitation of its government, as part of his tour of 
Scandinavian countries, and was warmly received by the pub- 
lic and government officials. In May 1967 the prime minister 
of Finland, Raphael Paasio, reciprocated with an official visit 
to Israel. In 1968 Foreign Minister Abba Eban visited Helsinki 
on the invitation of the Finnish foreign minister. 

The Six-Day War (1967) aroused great emotion in all 
sectors of the Finnish people. There were numerous expres- 
sions of support for and identification with Israel as a small 
nation fighting against great odds, reminiscent of the experi- 
ence of the Finnish nation. Internationally its neutral status 
and proximity to the former U.S.S.R. dictated a cautious ap- 
proach; its policy with regard to Israel has been neutral but 

Cultural ties have developed between Finland and Israel. 
Many years ago a movement was established, mainly reli- 
giously based, called "Carmel," aimed at bringing to Israel an- 
nually a group of youngsters for a few months* training in the 
Hebrew language and acquaintance with Israeli life. Tourism 
from Finland to Israel increased, especially from 1968. In 1954 
a League for Finnish-Israel friendship was established, with 
past Prime Minister K.A. Fagerholm as president. Finland's 
trade with Israel has increased steadily over the decades. The 
first trade agreement was signed in 1950, involving $7,000,000 
in both directions. The major Israeli export to Finland was 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


citrus and textiles, while Finnish exports to Israel comprised 
paper, cellulose, and paper products. In 1955 mutual trade 
reached $17,000,000. At the beginning the balance was in Isra- 
el's favor but later it shifted to Finland's favor. In 2003 bilateral 
trade between Finland and Israel amounted to €268 million. 
Whether for political-economic or other reasons, many Finn- 
ish products were shipped to Israel through a third country 
and therefore registered as trade with that country and thus 
unrecorded in the balance of trade between the two. 

[Mo she Avidan] 

bibliography: S. Federbusch, World Jewry Today (1959), 
538-42; ajyb, 60 (1961), 223-7; A. Sarsowsky, Gli ebrei in Finlandia 
(1911 = Settimana Israelitica, 1910); P. Friedman, They Were Their 
Brothers' Keepers (1957), 143-8; J. Wolf, in: Algemeyne Entsiklopedye 
Yidn,y (1966), 292-9; N. Levin, The Holocaust (1968), 399-401. web- 

FINLAY-FREUNDLICH, ERWIN (1885-1964), astronomer. 
Born in Biebrich, Rhineland, Finlay-Freundlich became pro- 
fessor at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Prior to his 
activities as director of the St. Andrews University Observa- 
tory (1939-59), which he built up, he held the directorships of 
new institutes at Potsdam (1924-33), Istanbul (1933-36), and 
Prague (1936-39). Finlay-Freundlich was a versatile scientist 
and pursued research in celestial mechanics, stellar astronomy, 
theoretical physics, theory of relativity, solar research, and in- 
strumental design. He equipped and directed several success- 
ful solar-eclipse expeditions, including two to Sumatra, in a 
determined effort to provide empirical tests of the theory of 
relativity through an exact verification of the minute effects 
of the gravitational light- deflection and the red-shift of spec- 
tral lines. He was one of the first pioneers in propagating the 
astronomical importance of Albert Einstein's concepts. 

bibliography: Von Klueber, in: Quarterly Journal of the 

Royal Astronomical Society, 6 (1965), 82-84; Astronomische Nach- 

richten, 288 (1965), 281-6. 

[Arthur Beer] 

FINLEY, SIR MOSES (1912-1986), American-born British 
historian. Born Moses Finkelstein in New York, Sir Moses was 
educated at Syracuse and Columbia Universities and changed 
his name to "Finley" in 1936. In 1954, fearful of McCarthyism, 
he migrated to England, becoming a British subject in 1962. 
There, his distinguished academic career was spent at Cam- 
bridge, where he was professor of ancient history from 1970 
to 1979. Finley was one of the most productive and highly re- 
garded historians of the ancient world of his time, whose in- 
terests centered especially on the economy and society of an- 
cient Greece. Among his best-known works are The World of 
Odysses (1956) and The Ancient Economy (1973). Finley re- 
ceived many academic honors and was knighted in 1979. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

°FINN, JAMES (1806-1872), English philo-Semite, served as 
British consul in Jerusalem from 1845 to 1862. A pioneer for 

the resettlement of the Jews in Erez Israel, Finn was a devoted 
friend of the Jews and often protected them from the Ottoman 
authorities. He was also active in promoting the idea of labor 
and agricultural development, and even invested funds in ex- 
periments to help organize his projects. After some time he 
went bankrupt. At the same time Finn engaged in missionary 
activities and tried to settle some Jewish converts to Christi- 
anity in the village of Artas (the biblical En-Etam) near Beth- 
lehem, but this project was abandoned in 1864. When his ap- 
pointment as consul ended, the leaders of the Jerusalem Jewish 
community and others addressed messages of appreciation 
and admiration to the British Government and to Finn him- 
self for his services to the Jewish population. In assisting the 
Jews of Jerusalem, he had sometimes overlooked the instruc- 
tions of his superiors and it has been suggested that this pre- 
cipitated the end of his service in Erez Israel. 

After his death, his wife, Elizabeth Anne (nee McCaul, 
1825-1921), edited and published his book Stirring Times 
(1878), which contains detailed descriptions of the situation 
of the Jews in Erez Israel at that time. Finn was also a pioneer 
in bringing to the knowledge of the Western world the Jews 
of *Kai Feng in his two works Jews of China (1849) and The 
Orphan Colony of the Jews of China (1872). Apart from this he 
wrote a superficial work on the Sephardim (1841). His wife as- 
sisted him in all his activities on behalf of the Jewish popula- 
tion of Erez Israel. She wrote three books on Erez Israel as well 
as memoirs on her life in Erez Israel, under the title of Remi- 
niscences of Mrs. Finn (1929), published posthumously. 

bibliography: A.M. Hyamson, British Consulate in Jeru- 
salem ... 1838-1914, 2 vols. (1939-47), index; I. Ben-Zvi, Shear Yashuv, 1 
(1966), 212, 520, 524; idem, Mehkarim u-Mekorot (1966), 165; Ben-Zvi, 
Erez Yisrael, 364, 409-10; A. Yaari, Zikhronot Erez Yisrael, 1 (1947), 
162-3, i 75~8; M. Ish-Shalom, Masei Nozerim le-Erez Yisrael (1965), 
44, 626-71. add. bibliography: odnb online for Elizabeth Finn; 
H.L. and W.D. Rubinstein, Philo-Semitism: Admiration and Support in 
the English-Speaking World for Jews, 1840-1939 (1999), 159-60; B.-Z. 
Abrahams, "James Finn: Her Britannic Majesty's Counsel at Jerusalem 
Between 1846 and i860," in: jhset, 27 (1978-80), 40-50. 

[Abraham David] 

1991), British metallurgist and industrial administrator. Finnis- 
ton was born in Glasgow (whose accent he retained), educated 
at Glasgow University, and became a lecturer at the Royal Col- 
lege of Science and Technology, Glasgow. He then became a 
metallurgist in industry and served in the Royal Naval Scien- 
tific Service during World War 11. He was chief metallurgist 
at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Harwell, 
from 1948 to 1958, and managing director of the International 
Research and Development Company from 1959 to 1967. He 
joined the board of the recently renationalized steel industry 
(British Steel Corporation) as deputy chairman (technical) 
in 1967, becoming chief executive in 1971 and chairman from 
1973 to 1976. From 1976 he was active as chairman or director 
of industrial companies and from 1980 as a business consul- 
tant. Finniston was involved in many fields of research and in 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



the Jewish community. He was chairman of the independent 
"think tank" of the Policies Institute from 1975 to 1984, chan- 
cellor of Stirling University, and pro -chancellor of the Uni- 
versity of Surrey. He was knighted in 1975, had 15 honorary 
doctorates conferred upon him, and in 1969 was elected a Fel- 
low of the Royal Society, of which he was later vice president 
in 1971-72. Sir Wally MacFarlane, the nationalized industry 
chairman portrayed in the popular British television comedy 
Yes, Minister, was based on Finniston. 

add. bibliography: odnb online. 

[Vivian David Lipman] 

FINZI, Italian family which can be traced back to the second 
half of the 13 th century; the origin of the name is unknown, 
The first recorded members were loan bankers in Padua. 
Subsequently, the family spread to many other towns; some 
of them added the name of their city of origin to their fam- 
ily name (Finzi of Ancona, of Recanati, of Bologna, of Man- 
tua, of Ferrara, of Reggio-Heb, 1 W 1K - not Arezzo as usually 
transcribed). In Venice some of them became known as Te- 
desco-Finzi to emphasize their German origin. Other Finzis 
may be traced in the Balkans and in Jerusalem and later in 
England. Some of the most noteworthy members follow in 
chronological order. 

mordecai (angelo) b. Abraham (d. 1476), a versa- 
tile scientist, physician, and banker, who lived in Bologna and 
Mantua. He was known mainly for his mathematical and as- 
tronomical works, which included Luhot, tables on the length 
of days (publ. Mantua, c. 1479, by Abraham Conat), and an 
astronomical work entitled Netiv Hokhmah (unpublished), 
He translated into Hebrew three important works by the Arab 
mathematician Abu Kamil (850-930). He also translated into 
Hebrew various works on astronomy and geometry and wrote 
commentaries on some of them, described and explained re- 
cently invented astronomical instruments, and wrote treatises 
on grammar and mnemonics, solomon b. eliakim, rabbi 
in Forli (1536) and Bologna (1552). He wrote a methodological 
work, Mafteah ha-Gemara (Venice, 1622). It was reprinted in 
1697 in Helmstedt with a Latin translation and notes by C.H. 
Ritmeier, and again reprinted in Clavis Talmudica Maxima 
(Hanau, 1714, 1740). gur aryeh ha-levi, rabbi in Mantua 
in 1665. He wrote a remarkable commentary on the Shulhan 
Arukh, published (Mantua, 1721-23) by his great-nephew, 
Gur Aryeh b. Benjamin (d. 1754). samuel (d. 1791), pupil 
of Isaac Lampronti, was a famous preacher and rabbi at Fer- 
rara. His homilies are collected in Imrei Emet (1841 2 ). isaac 
Raphael b. elisha (1728-1812), of Ferrara, was a widely 
esteemed preacher, some of whose sermons were published. 
He was a member of the French Sanhedrin in 1806 and was 
elected its vice president. Joseph (1815-1886), born in Man- 
tua, was a patriot of the Italian Risorgimento. A confidant of 
Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour, he took an active part in the 
risings against Austria from 1848 to 1853 and was entrusted 
with the funds for the Garibaldis expedition to Sicily in i860. 

From i860 onward, he was a member of parliament for about 
twenty- five years and he was elected senator in 1886. The ju- 
rist mario (1913-1943) from Bologna was active in the Italian 
Resistance during World War 11 and he assisted Italian and 
German Jews from 1938; he was captured in 1943 during an 
attempt to help a Jew. gerald (1901-1956), English musician 
and professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, 
wrote choral, orchestral, and chamber music. 

bibliography: Roth, Italy, index; idem, Jews in the Renais- 
sance (1959), index; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Milano, Italia, 678; 
Ghirondi-Neppi, index; Mortara, Indice; A. Balletti, Gli ebrei egli Es- 
tensi (1930 2 ), passim; V. Colorni, in: rmi, 9 (1934/35), 221-2; G. Be- 
darida, Ebrei d'ltalia (1950), index; S. Simonsohn, Ha-Yehudim be- 
Dukkasut Mantovah (1956), index, add. bibliography: L. Carpi, 
II Risorgimento Italiano, Biografie Storico-Politiche d'lllustri Italiani 
Contemporanei, 4 vols. (1888). 

[Attilio Milano / Federica Francesconi (2 nd ed.)] 

FINZI, GIUSEPPE (1815-1886), Italian patriot and parlia- 
mentarian. Finzi studied in Padua from 1831 to 1835. In 1834 
he joined the secret organization Giovane Italia. In 1844, he 
met with Giuseppe Mazzini in London, who entrusted him 
with the nationalist propaganda in both Switzerland and Lom- 
bardy. In 1848, Finzi fought behind the barricades in Milan. 
After serving for a time in the army of Charles Albert, he or- 
ganized a regiment consisting of Mantuans. He first fought 
in No vara against Austria, and afterward in Rome against the 
papal troops. Having been taken prisoner, as a close friend 
of Mazzini, he was brought before an Austrian court-mar- 
tial in Mantua. While many of his friends were condemned 
to the gallows, he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment 
at Thereisenstadt and Josephstadt but an amnesty of 1856 set 
him free. 

When Lombardy was freed from Austrian domination, 
Finzi was appointed royal commissary for the province of 
Mantua. He became the confidante of Giuseppe Garibaldi 
and was entrusted with the funds for the expedition to Sicily. 
The voluntary contributions not being sufficient, Finzi ap- 
pealed to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour for more funding. 
Cavour supplied him with funds from the state treasury, un- 
der the strictest secrecy. Cavour urged Finzi to revolutionize 
Naples while Garibaldi was in Sicily. Accordingly, Finzi made 
his way there with others but had little success. He neverthe- 
less paved the way for Garibaldi s entry later. Ill health com- 
pelled Finzi to resign the office of director general of public 
safety for the southern provinces, to which he had been ap- 
pointed. He sometimes mediated between Garibaldi and Ca- 
vour, when their relations became strained. For about 25 years 
- from i860 on - Finzi was a member of the Lower House, and 
highly esteemed by all parties. He was a man of unflagging 
energy but was not an orator. On June 7, 1886, he was made a 
senator, but died shortly thereafter. 

FINZINORSA CONTROVERSY, Italian Jewish cause ce- 
lebre in the early part of the 16 th century. Immanuel Norsa 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


of Ferrara, reputed to be the second wealthiest Jew in Italy, 
was partner in a loan bank with Abraham Raphael Finzi of 
Bologna, who had suffered serious reverses in his other busi- 
ness interests. Although relations between the two men were 
strengthened by marriages between their children, it was still 
charged by Finzis friends that directly or indirectly, Norsa 
had caused Finzi the loss of 5,000 gold florins. Since his part- 
nership with Norsa was Finzis only asset, he was compelled 
to dispose of it to satisfy his creditors. The wealthy Samuel da 
Pisa, Norsas brother-in-law, agreed to buy out Finzis share. 
However, due to Norsas opposition, he reneged on the pro- 
posed transaction. 

The creditors continued to press Finzi, who realized that 
Norsa would thwart any advantageous sale; Finzi was forced to 
accede to Norsas conditions and let him have all the partner- 
ship rights at his own price. It is claimed that Norsa paid him 
only one-sixth the actual value. However, before Finzi went 
to Ravenna to conclude the sale, he made a modaah ("decla- 
ration") at Bologna before witnesses, on February 28, 1507, 
that he was only selling to Norsa under duress, and that all 
the statements he would make to Norsa to the effect that the 
sale was carried out with good will and without compulsion 
were in consequence null and void. He also retained all rights 
to sue his former partner in court at a more opportune time. 
About 12 years later, this document was submitted to a court 
of three rabbinical judges in Bologna. Finzi brought five wit- 
nesses to prove the power of Norsa in Ferrara and the impos- 
sibility of getting judgment against him in the latter s home 
town. The court granted him a change of venue and decided 
that the case should be tried before an impartial court outside 
Ferrara. Norsa refused to abide by this decision and insisted 
upon having the litigation in his city. 

A vehement and vituperative controversy soon ensued 
solely on the validity of venue granted to Finzi. Norsa was 
supported by his local rabbis, particularly David Pizzighet- 
tone and by Abraham *Minz; Finzi was supported by almost 
all the Italian rabbinate, including Bendit Axelrod b. Eleazar, 
the head of the Venetian rabbinate, Israel b. Jehiel Isserlein of 
Rome, and Jehiel Trabotto b. Azriel of Pesaro. Above all, the 
famed Jacob *Pollak of Poland backed Finzi and finally ex- 
communicated Abraham Minz for his role in aggravating the 
controversy. Finally, Norsa had to yield and appeared before 
an outside impartial court. No record of the decision reached 
on the monetary issue has been preserved. 

bibliography: Marx, in: Abhandlungen ... Hirsch Perez 

Chajes (i933)> i49~93 (Eng.). 

[Aaron RothkofF ] 

FIOGHI (Fiocchi), FABIANO (16 th century), Roman Catho- 
lic theologian. Born a Jew in Monte Salvino, Fioghi was bap- 
tized in Rome, where he was active as teacher and catechist of 
the Jewish candidates for conversion at the House of *Catechu- 
mens, Fioghi published a missionary tract in Italian, entitled 
Dialogo fra il Cathecumino et il Padre catechizante... (Rome, 
1582); a second edition, Introduttione alia Fedefatta in forma 

di Dialogo, appeared in Rome in 1628. Even 200 years later 
R. Joshua Benzion *Segre attacked the anti- Jewish introduc- 
tory and concluding poems of this book. A Hebrew poem by 
Fioghi, addressed to Pope Gregory xi 11, is to be found in the 
Vatican Library, together with a Latin translation. 

bibliography: Wolf, Bibliotheca, 4 (1733), 948; M. Soave, 
in: Vessillo Israelitico, 29 (1881), 270; Vogelstein-Rieger, 2 (1896), 285; 
G. Sacerdote, in: rej, 30 (1895), 267; M. Steinschneider, in: mgwj, 43 
(1899), 36; T. Weikart, in: zhb, 5 (1901), 28 n. 4. 

[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann] 

FIORENTINO, SALOMONE (1743-1815), Italian poet. Fio- 
rentino was born at Monte San Savino, a village in Tuscany 
where the Jewish presence went back at least to 1421. Son of a 
merchant, he studied traditional Jewish subjects in Siena, at- 
tending at the same time - as an external student - a Catholic 
school, where he distinguished himself. He had a shop selling 
cloth in Cortona and read Italian poetry and works of phi- 
losophy intensively. Starting to compose verse, he kept up a 
correspondence with outstanding Italian poets like Metasta- 
sio, Cesarotti, Monti, and Alfieri. The premature death of his 
beloved wife in 1789 was a turning point both in his private 
life and in his literary career; the three elegies he composed 
on this occasion won him a certain celebrity, so that Fioren- 
tino was admitted to the important Accademia Fiorentina 
and named by the Grand Duke of Tuscany "poet laureate." In 
1799, during the French occupation, the violence of the pop- 
ulace against the Jews (seen as Allies of the "heretic" French) 
forced Fiorentino, like many of his coreligionists, to leave his 
small villages and live in Siena, then in Florence; as a conse- 
quence of the riots, he lost all his property in Cortona and 
Monte San Savino. From 1800 to 1815, with the return of the 
French army, he could devote himself to literary activity and 
wrote moral poems, epithalamiums, poems in praise of the 
Habsburg emperors, as well as an Italian translation of the Se- 
phardi prayer book of Livorno (Leghorn). His collected po- 
ems were printed several times. From 1801 to 1808, Fioren- 
tino lived in Livorno, earning his living as a teacher of Italian 
in the local Jewish community; from 1808 to 1815, stricken by 
paralysis, he lived again in Florence, where he died. His po- 
etry, though belonging to the Italian literary tradition, shows 
many Jewish elements: biblical references, a deep religiosity 
drawn from Jewish sources, even the centrality of family af- 
fection that had no poetical importance at the time. Fioren- 
tino probably influenced the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, 
who inserted two of his elegies in his important anthology 
Crestomazia italiana. 

bibliography: O. De Montel, Sulla vita e sulle opere di Sa- 
lomone Fiorentino (1852); A.S. ToarT, in rmi, 15 (1949), 195-215; R.G. 
Salvadori, in: Gli ebrei a Monte San Savino (1994), 93-101; G. Milan, 
in: Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 48 (1997), 160-62. 

[Alessandro Guetta (2 nd ed.)] 

FIQH, the science of Islamic law. In the course of the eighth 
century, the term, which originally meant "knowledge" or "un- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



derstanding," took on the meaning of Islamic jurisprudence 
on its two levels: certain knowledge, transmitted by the text of 
the Koran or a tradition relating to the Prophet (sunna); and 
legal conclusions derived by legal reasoning. The purpose of 
legal reasoning (ray), generally through analogy (qiyas), is to 
determine the ratio legis (motivation) for a legal rule. Con- 
sensus (i]ma), the fourth source of Islamic law (after Koran, 
sunna, and qiyds), purports to ensure the truth of a rule or 
conclusion derived from textual sources. Those lawyers who 
deal y^i\h fiqh are known &s fuqaha. 

While sharica is a general term for the totality of instruc- 
tions and regulations in Islamic law, fiqh concentrates more 
on the legal aspect, though it too encompasses all areas of hu- 
man behavior, religious as well as both private and public law. 
Accordingly, Islamic law recognizes five religious -ethical cat- 
egories of human behavior (al-ahakam al-khamsa), ranging 
from obligatory (fard) to forbidden (haaram), with three in- 
termediate categories: recommended (mandub), reprehensible 
(makruh), and indifferent (and permitted; mubaha). Parallel to 
this scale of religious-ethical qualifications is a scale of legal, 
rather than religious, validity of an action. While in theory the 
rules of fiqh, known as branches (furuc), are derived from the 
sources of Islamic law (usual-fiqh) by the methodology pre- 
scribed in the usulal-fiqh literature, some such rules actually 
stem from the customary law of pre-Islamic times (jahiliyya) 
or the influence of other legal systems (Persian, Greek, Roman, 
Byzantine) or religions (Judaism, Christianity), whose full im- 
pact on Islamic law and its development have yet to be fully 
determined. Islamic law assimilated such influences in vari- 
ous ways, but not by way of custom (curfi cada), which Islamic 
law in its initial phase did not recognize as an independent 
source of law; such recognition came at a later phase in the 
development of Islamic law. 

One of the most salient characteristics of fiqh is its de- 
velopment by religious scholars (fuqaha, culama) rather than 
judges. This at times led to divergences between theory and 
reality, with which the fuqaha had to deal by the application 
of, inter alia, legal devices and evasions (hiyal), as well as other 
legal principles, such as istihsan (discretionary decisions), or 
istislah (consideration of the public interest). In some cases a 
special legal effort (ijtihad) was necessary to rule the law on 
the basis of the roots of the law, frequently by means of le- 
gal pronouncements (fatawa, sing, fatwa) by high-ranking 
lawyers (mufti) - a phenomenon characteristic of the casu- 
istic nature of Islamic law. In the mid-eighth century (758), 
c Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa c proposed to the Caliph Al-Mansur 
to draw up a codification of Islamic law, but his plan never 
came to fruition. 

The legal oeuvre of the fiqh began to develop in the sec- 
ond half of the eighth century, beginning with the fiqh lit- 
erature in all its variety, soon followed by the usul al-fiqh 
literature. In addition to treatises devoted to detailed descrip- 
tions of specific areas of law, ranging from cabddat (ritual) to 
mucamalat (pecuniary transactions), other literary genres of 
fiqh literature included works on differences between jurists 

and schools (ikhtildf), which were a constant feature of Is- 
lamic law from its beginnings; legal formularies (shurut)', and 
works on legal devices (hiyal). The earliest work of usul al-fiqh 
was the Risdla (that is, "epistle") of Idris Shafi c i (820), gener- 
ally considered the founder of Muslim legal theory, which de- 
fined its terms and set its limits against the background of a 
controversy that broke out in the early Middle Ages between 
two currents of opinion: supporters of legal tradition (ahl al- 
hadith) and supporters of legal reasoning (ahl al-rdy). The first 
work of fiqh was the Muwattd ("paved path") of Malik b. Anas. 
In parallel to the official system of Islamic law, a secondary 
system of criminal law, known as al-nazar fil-mazalim ("in- 
vestigation of complaints") developed as an alternative to the 
rigid system of evidence and procedure of official Islamic 

Islamic law recognizes the existence of different opin- 
ions, granting them equal status. Accordingly, several differ- 
ent legal schools emerged in the main centers of Islamic law: 
Medina, Kufa, and Syria. Through the second half of the ninth 
century and the early tenth century, these ultimately became 
the main legal schools (madhhab), each named for prominent 
early scholars of the law: The Hanafi" school, after Abu Hanafa 
(767); the Maliki school, after Malik b. Anas (795); the Shafi c i 
school, after Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi c i (820); and the 
Hanbali school, after Ahmad ibn Hanbal (855). A few other 
schools were formed but did not survive. Some of the differ- 
ences between these schools reflect the legal traditions of a 
specific locality and time as well as prevailing social conditions 
(mainly the Maliki and Hanafi schools); others reflect a differ- 
ent attitude to the sources of law or to other legal principles. 
Each school created its own fiqh literature and summarized 
its legal outlook in a work known as Mukhtasar ("compen- 
dium"). Each school dominated a certain geographical region 
of the Muslim world. There may have been some connection 
between the formation of the schools and the anthologiza- 
tion of hadiths (the documentation of the sunna) and devel- 
opment of the science oihadlth criticism, since the two devel- 
opments are related in subject matter and contiguous in time: 
The anthologies were drawn up during the ninth century, and 
soon after them came the consolidation of the schools. Prob- 
ably also the transition from ijtihad (legal struggle or effort) 
to taqlid is related to the appearance of the schools, since the 
taqlid (reliance on legal tradition) expresses loyalty to the le- 
gal heritage of a particular school and its leader. The evolu- 
tion of legal terminology may also have been influenced by 
the emergence of the schools, since it expressed a certain hi- 
erarchy of opinions and in a way functioned as a substitute 
for legal decision rules, which Islamic law lacks. Common to 
the schools was their acceptance of the legal theory of usul al- 
fiqh, but this did not prevent the schisms of the seventh cen- 
tury, when the Shi c a split from the Sunna and the Khawarij 
seceded from mainstream Islam. 

Muslim recognition of legal pluralism and the equal sta- 
tus accorded the legal schools created a degree of flexibility in 
Islamic law; thus, litigants were even permitted to shift from 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


one school to another in a court composed of judges repre- 
senting the four schools, and a judge could appeal to the ruling 
of a school other than his own. In modern times, Islam per- 
mits legislators to combine doctrines of more than one school 
in relation to specific clauses of the law (takhayyur) y mainly 
in the context of protection of women's rights; this phenom- 
enon blurs differences between the schools and promotes the 
unification of Islamic law. 

Some characteristics of fiqh influenced Jewish law dur- 
ing and after the period of the geonim, in such areas as literary 
creativity, borrowing of legal terminology, and assimilation of 
legal principles and sometimes even of specific laws. 

bibliography: "Fikh," in: eis 2 , 2 (1965), 886-91 (includes 
bibliography); I. Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law 
(1981), 31-66; W.B. Hallaq, A History of Islamic Legal Theories (1977); 
J. Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law (1964), 57-85. 

[Gideon Libson (2 nd ed.)] 

FIRE (Heb. Bft). 

In the Bible 

Once humans discovered that fire could be maintained and 
exploited for their needs, it became one of their most impor- 
tant assets. Fire was used for light, warmth, cooking, roast- 
ing, baking, in waging war, and in various crafts, for sending 
messages, and for ritual purposes. Greek myth relates that 
fire was originally restricted to the gods before it was stolen 
by Prometheus and given to humans. Fire is one of the cen- 
tral elements of theophany. At the covenant with Abraham "a 
smoking oven and a flaming torch," representing the divine 
presence passed between the halves of the animals (Gen. 15:17). 
God appeared to Moses from the burning bush (Ex. 3:2); He 
went before Israel in a pillar of fire to guide them by night on 
their way out of Egypt (Ex. 13:21-22; 14:24; Num. 9:15-16 et 
al.); on the occasion of the giving of the Tablets of the Law, 
Mount Sinai is described as being covered in smoke, "for the 
Lord had come down upon it in fire" (Ex. 19:18). In Deuter- 
onomy 9:3 Yahweh is described as "consuming fire." Yahweh 
breaths smoke, flames, and fire (11 Sam. 22:9 [= Ps. 18:9]; Isa. 
30:27, 33; 65:5). In cultic practice special importance was at- 
tributed to fire as a means of purification and cleansing: "any 
article that can withstand fire-these you shall pass through fire 
and they shall be clean" (Num. 31:23). Fire was used in several 
ways in worship: (1) a fire was lit daily in the temple (Ex. 27:20; 
Lev. 24:2; (2) a perpetual fire for burning sacrifices was main- 
tained on the altar (Lev. 6:5, 6); (3) a fire was used for roast- 
ing sacrifices for human consumption; (4) a fire for burning 
incense was placed so that the smoke diffused throughout the 
shrine (Ex. 29:18; Lev. 16:13; e t aU see ^Sacrifice). The power 
of fire both as a positive and destructive force is expressed in 
the poetic portions of the Bible: "and you call on the name 
of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the 
God who answers by fire He is the God" (1 Kings 18:24). God 
punishes the wicked by sending down fire from heaven: "the 
Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulfurous fire from 
the Lord out of heaven" (Gen. 19:24). Fire is also an expression 

of great anger: "for a fire has flared in my wrath and burned to 
the bottom of Sheol, has consumed the earth and its increase, 
eaten down to the base of the hills" (Deut. 32:22). 

[Zeev Yeivin / S. David Sperling (2 nd ed.)] 

In Talmudic Literature 

Fire figures prominently both in the halakhah and the aggadah. 
In the former it occupies a central place in civil law as one of 
the four tortfeasors, the four principal categories of damage 
(see *Avot Nezikin). It also occupies a special role with regard 
to the Sabbath; although kindling a fire is one of the main 39 
categories of work forbidden on the Sabbath (Shab. 7:2), it 
is also specifically mentioned as a separate prohibition: "Ye 
shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sab- 
bath day" (Ex. 35:3). There is a difference of opinion in the 
Talmud as to the reason for this distinctive mention. Accord- 
ing to one opinion the reason is to make this particular pro- 
hibition a mere negative commandment, incurring the pun- 
ishment of flogging, whereas violation of the others invokes 
karet. According to the other opinion it is specifically men- 
tioned to establish the rule that a person is liable separately for 
each and every infringement of the prohibitions of the Sabbath 
(Shab. 70a). The rabbis, in contradistinction to the Sadducees 
(and later the Karaites) interpreted the verse to apply only to 
the actual kindling of a fire on the Sabbath but not to its ex- 
istence. Therefore a fire lit before the Sabbath is permitted to 
continue to burn on that day (if no fuel is added during the 
day), permitting the distinctive feature of the home celebra- 
tions of Sabbath, the Sabbath lights on the table. This fire, ac- 
cording to some opinions, could be used to keep pre-cooked 
food warm on the Sabbath, and according to other opinions, 
it could also be used to allow partially cooked foods to con- 
tinue cooking by themselves on the Sabbath itself. Among the 
forms of work forbidden on Sabbath and permitted on festi- 
vals, lighting a fire is one of only two such forms (along with 
carrying) which is permitted even if one does not use the fire 
to prepare food, in line with the principle that "once it was 
permitted for the need [of cooking] it was permitted when 
there is no such need" (Bezah 12b). 

Fire is extensively referred to in the aggadah. Accord- 
ing to one account it was created on the second day of cre- 
ation (pdRE 4) but according to another, it was created after 
the conclusion of the Sabbath, by Adam through the friction 
of two stones (Pes. 54a; tj, Ber. 8:6, 12b). The fire of the altar 
came down from heaven (cf. Yoma 21b) and remained burning 
from the time of Moses until it was transferred to the Temple 
of Solomon (Zev. 61b), and it continued to burn until the reign 
of Manasseh (Yalkut, Kings 187). On the other hand the fire in 
the Second Temple was human fire (Yoma loc. cit); neverthe- 
less that fire was never extinguished by the rain. The "strange 
fire" which Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered up 
on the altar (Lev. 10:1) was "common" or human fire (Num. 
R. 2:23). Indeed, all that which is regarded as coming directly 
from God is said to have been given in fire. The Torah was 
given in a frame of white fire and the letters were engraved in 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



black fire (tj, Shek. 6:1, 48d). When God told Moses to insti- 
tute the half-shekel, He showed him "a coin of fire" (ibid., 1:6, 
46b). Simultaneously with earthly fire was created the fire of 
Gehinnom, and earthly fire is one- sixtieth of that fire (Ber. 
57b). Out of primordial fire was created light: "The fire became 
pregnant and gave birth to light" (Ex. R. 15:22). 

Six kinds of fire are enumerated (Yoma 21b) and some 
such division is responsible for the formula of the blessing over 
light at the *Havdalah ceremony. According to the school of 
Shammai the formula should be, "Who created the light of 
the fire." The school of Hillel, however, maintained that since 
there are many colors of fire, it was necessary to say, "Who 
created the lights of fire" in the plural (Ber. 52a) and the hala- 
khah was established accordingly. The rabbis accepted the 
legend that the salamander was created out of fire (Hag. 27a; 
Tanh. Va-Yeshev 3, Ex. R. 15:28) and that its blood protected a 
person from the ill effects of fire. Fire beacons placed on the 
mountaintops were used to announce the arrival of the New 
Moon (rh 2:2-4). 

[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz] 

bibliography: S. Muehsam, Das Feuer in Bibel und Talmud 
(1869); E.B. Tylor, Researches into the Early History of Mankind (1878), 
index; Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands (1963), passim. 
add. bibliography: W. Watson, in: ddd, 331-32. 

FIRKOVICH, ABRAHAM (Even Reshef; 1787-1874), Kara- 
ite public figure in Eastern Europe. Firkovich was born in 
Luck (Lutsk), Poland. After his marriage in 1808 he worked 
as a miller. In 1813 he began to study Torah with the Karaite 
scholar Morekhai *Sultanski. In 1822 he moved from Lutsk 
to Evpatoria (Crimea) and was appointed hazzan of the lo- 
cal community. In 1825 he submitted a memorandum to the 
Russian government in which he suggested resettling Rabban- 
ite Jews from the border areas in order to prevent them from 
smuggling and force them into agriculture. 

In 1830 the Karaite hakham Simhah *Babovich hired 
him as a tutor for his children and as his secretary to accom- 
pany him in his pilgrimage to the Land of Israel. During their 
visit to Jerusalem, Hebron, and Cairo Firkovich bought and 
copied many ancient books. In 1831-32 he moved to Istanbul, 
where he served as hazzan, shohet, and melammed. Following 
a conflict with the community there he returned to Evpatoria 
(Gozlow), where he organized a society for the publication of 
Karaite books. In 1834 he was appointed head of the Karaite 
publishing house there and published his biting anti-rabbinic 
book Hotam Tokhnit y accusing Rabbanites of crucifying Jesus 
and killing *Anan ben David. 

In 1839 M. Vorontsov, the governor general of the Nov- 
orossya region and the Crimea, addressed a series of six ques- 
tions to Babovich, who had become head of the Karaite Spiri- 
tual Council. These dealt with the origins of the Karaites and 
the time of their settlement in the Crimea, their character 
traits, occupations, important personalities, historical sources 
about their origins, time of their separation from the Rab- 
banites, and the differences between them. Babovich then 

recommended Firkovich investigate these questions and the 
latter initiated his archaeological and other expeditions in the 
Crimea and the Caucasus, uncovering ancient tombstones and 
manuscripts in order to produce an account of Karaite his- 
tory. His main work, Avnei Zikkaron (1872) describes his trav- 
els and contains a collection of tombstone inscriptions with 
several pictures of these tombstones appended. In the course 
of his work Firkovich created a new concept of the origins of 
the Crimean Karaites, according to which they settled in the 
Crimea in 6 b.c.e.; therefore they could not share the respon- 
sibility for the crucifixion of Jesus. Firkovich wished to con- 
vince the authorities that the Karaites were a separate nation 
which differed historically, culturally, and anthropologically 
from the Rabbanites. He was the first Karaite author to apply a 
"scientific" research methodology to ameliorate the legal status 
of his congregation. To substantiate his claims Firkovich fabri- 
cated colophons and falsified some of the tombstone inscrip- 
tions. He changed the real dates on the tombs to earlier ones. 
He also "invented" some great figures of Karaite history, such 
as Isaac Sangari (identified in a late medieval source as the 
sage ("haver") who in Judah *Halevis account in the Kuzari 
converted the king of the *Khazars to Judaism). In Firkovich's 
version, Sangari converted the Khazars to the Karaite version 
of Judaism and died in Chufut-Qaleh. 

Yet within a year of Firkovichs death, a controversy raged 
over the authenticity of the Firkovich material. Such promi- 
nent scholars as A. Harkavy, H. Strack, P.F. Frankl, and A. 
Kunik claimed that Firkovichs collections abounded in forger- 
ies and fabrications. Even D. Chwolson, his most sympathetic 
critic, had to admit the general unreliability of Firkovichs 
manuscripts. Nevertheless, the manuscripts that he amassed 
were used or published by several well-known scholars in their 
studies about the Karaites. (S. Pinsker s Likkutei Kadmoniyot 
(i860) was based on Firkovichs materials; Fuerst and Graetz 
also unhesitatingly used this material.) Discussions of the au- 
thenticity of his materials stimulated the development of Jew- 
ish studies in Russia and Western Europe. 

His manuscript collection is considered to be one of the 
most valuable collections of Hebrew manuscripts worldwide. 
Firkovich sold his first collection containing over a thousand 
Rabbanite, Karaite, and Samaritan manuscripts and Torah 
scrolls from the Crimea, Caucasus, and Middle East to the 
Imperial Library in St. Petersburg in 1862 and in 1870. His 
second collection, containing over 15,000 items, was sold af- 
ter his death (1876). Most items originated in the Genizah 
of the Karaite synagogue in Cairo, which Firkovich visited in 
1864. It is the largest collection of its kind in the world. These 
collections and his private archive, which are housed in the 
Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, were opened to 
researchers only after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Most 
of the material is available in microfilm at the Jewish National 
and University Library in Jerusalem. 

Firkovich had six sons and five daughters. He died in 
Chufut-Qaleh and was buried in the cemetery in the Je- 
hoshaphat valley. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


bibliography: Z. Ankori, Karaites in Byzantium (1959), in- 
dex; P. Frankl, Ahar Reshef (1877); A. Harkavy, Altjuedische Denkmae- 
ler aus der Krim (1876); Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 695-7, an d passim; 
D.H.L. Strack, Abraham Firkowitsch und seine Entdeckungen (1876); 
Z. Elkin - M. Ben-Sasson, in: Pe c amim, 90 (2002) 51-96; M. Polliack 
(ed.), Karaite Judaism: A Guide to Its History and Literary Sources, 
(2003), index, add. bibliography: E. Deinard, Toledot Even- 
Reshef (1875); R. Fahnn, Sefer ha-Kera'im (1929), 124 ff.; A. Kahana, 
huca, 3 (192), 359-70; D. Shapira, Firkowicz in Istanbul (1830-1832) 
(2003); idem, in: Pe c amim, 98-99 (2004), 261-317. 

[Haggai Ben-Shammai (2 nd ed.)] 

In the Bible 

Primogeniture is a persistent and widespread institution 
whose legal, social, and religious features were reflected in 
the norms of ancient Israelite society. Biblical legislation gave 
the firstborn male a special status with respect to inheritance 
rights and certain cultic regulations, The latter, a part of a 
complex of cultic requirements, also applied to the first issue 
of the herds and the flocks, which, in the popular conscious- 
ness, were considered particularly desirable as sacrifices. Abel 
pleased God by offering Him firstlings of his flock (Gen. 4:4). 
The requirements of the cultic codes were based on the notion 
that the God of Israel had a claim on the first offspring of man 
and beast, which were to be devoted to Him in some manner. 
This notion also governed the prescriptions regarding the of- 
fering of the first fruits (see *First Fruits). 

In biblical Hebrew usage the term bekhor, "firstborn 
[male]," and its derivatives, are somewhat ambiguous. The 
characterization of the human bekhor as on, "the first 
fruit of vigor" (Gen. 49:3; Deut. 21:17; cf- Ps. 78:51; 105:36), 
stresses the relation to the father and adumbrates the first- 
borns status of principal heir and successor of his father as 
head of the family. At the same time, the specification that the 
bekhor be "the first issue of the womb" {peter rehem; Ex. 13:2, 
12, 15, etc.; cf. Num. 8:16), which reflects the religious signifi- 
cance of the first products of the procreative process in hu- 
man and animal life, stresses the biological link to the mother. 
Whereas it was usually possible to ascertain the paternity of 
human beings, this clearly did not hold true of animals, and 
there was never any attempt to base animal cultic regulations 
on considerations of specific paternity. 

Two rather distinct conceptions can be made out: a 
socio-legal one, which assigned exceptional status to the 
first male in the paternal line; and a cultic one which as- 
signed special status to the first male issue of the maternal line. 
The socio-legal conception was preserved in legislation gov- 
erning inheritance. In cultic legislation, the bekhor of the 
legal tradition was required - in order for the cultic regu- 
lations to apply - to be also the first issue of his mother's 

According to Deuteronomy 21:15-17, a father was obliged 
to acknowledge his firstborn son as his principal heir, and to 
grant him a double portion of his estate as inheritance. (Pi- 
shenayim means "two-thirds" [see Zech. 13:8], but the inten- 

tion of the text is that the firstborn shall get whatever fraction 
a double portion may come to; in the case posited in the text, 
where there are only two sons, it is two -thirds, but where there 
are three sons, it is one -half, and so on; cf. the correct inference 
drawn in bb 123 a from 1 Chron. 5:iff., which expressly terms 
Josephs status as "firstborn" - Joseph received twice the por- 
tion of any of his brothers [Gen. 48:5, 22; ef. Rashbam to bb 
123a].) This obligation was to apply irrespective of the status 
of the sons mother in a polygamous family. This inheritance 
right is termed mishpat ha-bekhorah, "the rule of the birth- 
right" (Deut. 21:17), an d the legal process by which the first- 
born son was so designated is expressed by the verb yakkir 
"he shall acknowledge." Undoubtedly the acknowledgment 
involved certain formal, legal acts which are not indicated in 
biblical literature. In a different context, God acknowledged 
Israel as his firstborn (Ex. 4:22; ef. Jer. 31:8). A son, address- 
ing his father, might also refer to his own status as firstborn 
son (Gen. 27:19,32). 

It is evident from the composition of biblical genealo- 
gies that the status of bekhor was a pervasive feature of Isra- 
elite life. In many such lists there is a formula which specifies 
the status of the first-listed son. For example, Numbers 1:20: 
"The sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, were..." (cf. e.g., 
Gen. 35:23; 36:15; Ex. 6:14, and frequently in the genealogies 
of 1 Chron.). Even in genealogies which do not specifically 
indicate the status of the first son listed, it is clear that he is 
the firstborn. There are suggestions in the Bible that primo- 
geniture carried certain duties and privileges in addition to 
the estate rights (see Gen. 27; 48:13; Judg. 8:20; 1 Chron. 26:10, 
etc.). The second in line was termed ha-mishneh (1 Sam. 17:13; 
11 Sam. 3:3; 1 Chron. 5:12). 

The status of the firstborn in royal succession is not 
clearly defined. The Israelite kings were often polygamous, and 
the relative status of several royal wives figured in determin- 
ing a succession, making the Deuteronomic law cited above 
appear more like an ideal than a reality so far as the king was 
concerned. A king might, for a variety of reasons, also be dis- 
posed to officially reject one of his sons, Accordingly, there 
were instances where the first in the royal line of succession 
did not, in fact, succeed his father. It is not known whether 
the firstborn in families of the high priests had a special status. 
From the exception noted in 1 Chronicles 26:10 it is inferable 
that the firstborn of a levitical clan was normally placed in 
charge of his brothers. There is some evidence that the first- 
born daughter (bekhirah) was customarily married off before 
her younger sisters (Gen. 29:16 ff.; 1 Sam. i8:i7ff.). 

In the Genesis narrative one sees how primogeniture was 
disregarded in the clan of Abraham. The son most suited to 
carry on the line of Abraham - with its attendant responsi- 
bility for transmitting the clans unique religious belief- was 
acknowledged as the head of the family even if it meant pass- 
ing by the firstborn; indeed even if it entailed banishing him 
from the household (Isaac was preferred to Ishmael, ch. 21: 
Jacob to Esau, ch. 27). 

The terminology employed in Genesis, when compared 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



to that of Deuteronomy 21:17, is problematic, and allowance for 
a degree of inconsistency in technical usage must be made. In 
Genesis, Jacob contends with Esau over two matters: first, the 
bekhorah, which Jacob secured from Esau, who despised it, in 
exchange for a cooked meal (Gen. 25:29-34); and second, the 
berakhah ("blessing") which Jacob secured by deceiving his 
elderly father into thinking that he was blessing Esau (Gen. 
27). Of the two terms, the berakhah counted for more, prob- 
ably because pronouncing the blessing was considered to be 
the act formally acknowledging the firstborn as the principal 
heir. Berakhah connotes both the blessing which is to be pro- 
nounced and the effects of the blessing, i.e., the wealth trans- 
mitted as inheritance. In Deuteronomy 21:17 the term bekho- 
rah refers specifically to the estate rights. 

Owing to his favored status, the firstborn was consid- 
ered the most desirable sacrifice to a deity where human sac- 
rifice was practiced. On the verge of a defeat, Mesha, king of 
Moab, sacrificed his eldest son and acknowledged successor 
(11 Kings 3:27). In a prophetic passage, the sacrifice of the first- 
born is singled out as that offering which might be supposed 
the most efficacious for expiation (Micah 6:7). The importance 
of the bekhor is dramatized in the saga of the ten plagues God 
inflicted upon the Egyptians, the last of which struck down 
their firstborn (e.g., Ex. 11:5; 12:12). This serves as the etiology 
of the legal-cultic requirement that the male firstborn of man 
and beast in Israel were to be devoted to God. The Lord ac- 
quired title to Israels firstborn, human and animal, by hav- 
ing spared them when he struck the firstborn of the Egyp- 
tians (Num. 3:13). 

The priestly tradition goes on to explain that the Levites, 
as a group, were devoted to cultic service in substitution for 
all the firstborn Israelites (Num. 3:12). This would seem to be 
the historicization of a situation that in fact obtained indepen- 
dently of the particular events surrounding the Exodus. The 
laws governing the redemption of the firstborn (Ex. 13:15; 34:19, 
Deut, 15:19) presumably derived from a cultic matrix. At one 
time firstborn sons were actually devoted to cultic service as 
temple slaves, Nazirites, and the like; subsequently other ar- 
rangements were made for supplying cultic personnel while 
the erstwhile sanctity of the firstborn was lifted through re- 
demption (cf. Lev. 27:1-8, and see below). This underlies the 
priestly traditions of the history of the levites and their selec- 
tion for cultic service. 

In the case of animals, male firstlings unfit for sacrificial 
use because they bore ^blemishes or were of types considered 
impure could be redeemed by paying the assessed value of the 
animal, plus one-fifth (Lev, 27:26-27; cf. verses 9-13; Ex. 34:20; 
Deut. 15:19). The restriction of the requirement to male first- 
lings may reflect on economic consideration: very few males 
were needed for breeding purposes. This consideration may 
also figure in the predominance of male animals as sacrificial 
victims generally. Devoting firstlings to the cultic establish- 
ment served as a means of providing it with revenue (Num, 
18:15-18; compare Deut. 15:19-23). 

[Baruch A. Levine] 

Redemption of the Firstborn 

Rabbinic sources discuss at length methods of exchange and 
redemption (Mishnah, Bekhorot and Temurah). Neither ko- 
hanim nor levites need redeem their firstborn (Bek. 2:1). 
However, the firstborn son of a marriage between a kohen 
and a woman forbidden to him (e.g., a divorcee) does not 
have priestly rank and must be redeemed (Sh. Ar., yd 305:19), 
although the father may, in this case, keep the redemption 
money himself (R. Asher to Bek. 47b). In all cases the crite- 
rion is primogeniture from the mother's womb. A child is not 
regarded as a firstborn if his mother previously miscarried a 
fetus more than 40 days old (Sh. Ar., yd 305:23). Ordinary Jews 
whose wives are the daughters of kohanim or levites need not 
redeem their firstborn, but the son of a kohen's daughter and a 
non-Jew must be redeemed because his mother has forfeited 
her status. The firstborn son of a levites daughter born under 
the same circumstances does not need to be redeemed (Bek. 
47a). If there is a doubt regarding the primogeniture of a child, 
the child need not be redeemed (Sh. Ar., yd 305:22-25). The 
duty of redeeming the firstborn falls in the first instance upon 
the father. If he neglects to do so or if the child is an orphan, 
the son redeems himself when he reaches maturity (Kid. 29 a). 
At one time a small medallion bearing the inscription ben bek- 
hor was hung around the neck of such a child (Isserles to Sh. 
Ar., yd 305:15). It later became customary, however, for either 
the rabbinical court (bet din) or one of the child's male rela- 
tives to redeem him. 

The Bible fixes the redemption fee at five silver shekels 
(Num. 18:16), and the father may choose any kohen to perform 
the ceremony by paying him this sum (in medieval times two 
Reichsthaler, today five U.S. dollars). It must be given in coins, 
but not money equivalents, such as securities, shares, etc. (Sh. 
Ar., yd 305:4). Special "redemption coins" are now minted in 
Israel for this purpose by the Bank of Israel and distributed 
by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation. 
The kohen may return the money to the child's father (as did 
some rabbis in talmudic times, Bek. 51b), although the practice 
is condoned only when the father is very poor (Sh. Ar., td, 
305:8). On the other hand, the choice of a poor kohen (so as 
simultaneously to fulfill the mitzvah of charity) is approved. 

The redemption ceremony (pidyon ha-ben) is held in 
the presence of the kohen and invited guests, and takes place 
on the 31 st day after the birth. This is due to the fact that the 
child is not considered as fully viable until he survives the 
first 30 days of his life. Even if circumcision has not yet been 
performed (e.g., for health reasons), there should be no de- 
lay. Only if the 31 st day is a Sabbath or festival is the ceremony 
postponed to the following weekday (ibid., 305:11). During the 
ceremony, the father presents his son, often on a specially em- 
bellished tray, to the kohen who asks him, in an ancient Ar- 
amaic formula, whether he wishes to redeem the child or to 
leave him to the kohen. In some sources the formula is given 
in Hebrew. The father, in reply, expresses the desire to keep 
his son, hands the redemption money to the kohen, and re- 
cites one benediction for the fulfillment of the commandment 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


of redemption, and another of thanksgiving (She-Heheyanu). 
The kohen, three times pronouncing "your son is redeemed" 
returns the child to the father, This dialogue is purely sym- 
bolic. A declaration by the father that he prefers the money to 
the child would have no legal validity. Finally, the kohen re- 
cites a benediction over a cup of wine, pronounces the priestly 
blessing on the child, and joins the invited guests at a festive 
banquet (ibid. 305:10 and Isserles ad loc). 

According to halakhah the biblical laws commanding 
the sacrifice of firstborn "clean ' animals and the redemption 
of firstborn he-asses (Ex. 13:2,12-15; 34:19-20) should also be 
observed today. However, because of the suspension of the 
sacrificial system after the destruction of the Temple, the first- 
born clean animals have to be given to a kohen after they have 
attained the age of 30 days (for sheep or goats) or 50 days (for 
large cattle). He keeps them, without deriving any benefit from 
them, either until they die a natural death - when the carcass 
may be used - or until they suffer a blemish which would have 
made them unfit as a sacrifice - when they may be eaten or 
used for any other purpose (Tur and Sh. Ar., yd 313:20). It is, 
however, forbidden to inflict a blemish deliberately (Sh. Ar., 
yd 313. 1). A firstborn he-ass should be redeemed from the 
kohen by giving him a sheep or its equivalent value in money 
(Tur and Sh. Ar., yd 321). 

Fast of the Firstborn 

Fast of the Firstborn (Heb. D'liDS rp?yfl, taanit bekhorim), 
fast observed by primogenital males on the 14 th of Nisan i.e., 
the day before *Passover. This traditional custom seems to 
stem from the desire to express gratitude for the saving of 
the firstborn Israelites during the tenth plague in Egypt (Ex. 
i3:iff.). According to talmudic sources (Soferim, ed. by M. 
Higger (1937), 21:1) the custom was already observed in mish- 
naic times. Another source mentions that R. Judah ha-Nasi 
fasted on this day; his fasting, however, is explained by some 
as a wish to stimulate his appetite for the mazzah (unleav- 
ened bread) at the seder meal (tj, Pes. 10:1,37b and compare 
Soferim, loc. cit.). The fast became an accepted traditional cus- 
tom obliging all males whether firstborn to their father or only 
to their mother, and in some opinions even firstborn women, 
to fast (Sh. Ar., oh 470:1). If a child is too young to fast (under 
the age of 13), his father fasts instead of him; if the father is 
firstborn, the child's mother fasts in lieu of the child (Isserles 
to oh 470:2). Should the first day of Passover be on a Sabbath, 
the fast is observed on the preceding Thursday; according to a 
more lenient ruling, it is suspended (ibid.). However, since one 
is permitted to break this fast in order to partake of a seudat 
mitzvah (a meal accompanying a religious celebration, such 
as a circumcision) it was laid down that the celebration of the 
hadran constituted such a meal. The custom thus evolved to 
finish the study of a Talmud tractate on the morning before 
Passover, at which occasion a festive banquet is arranged in the 
synagogue, at which firstborns participate, and they need not 
therefore fast. Through this device, the Fast of the Firstborn is 
practically in desuetude (see *Fasting and Fastdays). 

Legal Aspects Concerning the Firstborn 

definition of primogeniture. The sole difference in the 
status of the firstborn son as compared with that of his broth- 
ers is his right to a greater share in their father's inheritance. 
This status is known as bekhor le-nahalah (firstborn or pri- 
mogeniture as to inheritance) and derives from the verse "he 
must acknowledge the firstborn the son of the unloved one, 
and allot to him a double portion of all he possesses; since he 
is the first fruit of his vigor, the birthright is his due" (Deut. 
21:15-17). The firstborn in this context is the first son born to 
the father, even if not so to the mother, since it is written, "the 
first fruits of his vigor" (Bek. 8:1 and see commentators). Even 
if such a son is born of a prohibited union, e.g., the son of a 
priest and a divorced woman, or a mamzer born as first son 
to his father - he is included, on the strength of the words "he 
must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved one" 
(Deut., loc. cit), the term a "loved" or an "unloved" wife be- 
ing interpreted as relating only to the question whether the 
wife's marriage was "loved" or "unloved," i.e., permitted or 
prohibited (Yev. 23a and see Rashi and Posekim ad loc). The 
prerogative of the firstborn never extends to a daughter, not 
even in a case where she has a right of inheritance (Sif. Deut. 
215; see ^Inheritance). A son born to a proselyte to Judaism, 
who had sons before he became a proselyte, does not enjoy 
the prerogative of a bekhor le-nahalah, since he is not "the first 
fruits of his vigor" (Yev. 62a; Bek. 47a; Posekim ad loc); on the 
other hand, if an Israelite had a son by a non-Jewish woman 
and thereafter has a son by a Jewish woman, the latter son does 
enjoy the prerogative, since the former is called her, and not 
his, son (Maim. Yad, Nahalot 2:12). A first son who is born af- 
ter his father's death, viz., if the mother gives birth to twins, is 
not considered a bekhor le-nahalah since it is written "he must 
acknowledge" (Deut. 21:17) an d the father is no longer alive to 
do so (bb 142b; Rashbam and Posekim ad loc). 

proof of primogeniture. In determining the fact of pri- 
mogeniture reliance is placed upon the statements of three 
persons - the midwife, the mother, and the father. That the 
midwife is relied upon immediately after the son's birth (where 
twins are born) is derived from Genesis 38:28 (see tj, Kid. 
4:2,65 d); the mother is relied on during the first seven days 
after childbirth, since the father has not yet succeeded in "ac- 
cepting" or recognizing the child, as he does not pass out of 
his mother's hands until the circumcision; thereafter the fa- 
ther's determination is accepted at all times, since he "must 
acknowledge his son" - i.e., recognize the child as his firstborn 
son personally and before others. The father's determination 
is relied upon even if he thereby assails the status of his other 
sons, as may happen if he acknowledges as his firstborn the 
youngest of several sons borne by his wife after they married 
each other - thus characterizing the other sons as mamzerim 
(Yev. 47a; Kid. 74a and Posekim ad Lee; see also Mamzer). 
However, the father is not believed in this last-mentioned 
case if the disqualified son already has children of his own, as 
the disqualification would also affect their status - for which 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



purpose the law does not authorize reliance on his words 
(Yev. 47a and Posekim; Ozar ha-Posekim, eh, 1 (1955), 192, 
sec. 4:137). 

4TH birthright prerogative. The firstborn is entitled 
to a "double portion" that is, he takes twice the portion due 
to each of his brothers from their fathers inheritance. Thus if 
the father has left a firstborn and two other sons, the former 
takes one-half and the latter one-quarter each of the estate (bb 
i22b-i23a and Posekim). The prerogative does not extend to 
the mothers estate (bb 111b, 122b and Codes). 

The firstborn takes a double portion only of the present 
and not of the contingent assets, i.e., only of the assets in the 
fathers possession at the time of his death and not such as 
were due to come into his possession thereafter. Thus, if the 
father predeceased any of his own legators, the fathers share in 
their estate passes through him to his own heirs, the firstborn 
taking only the share of an ordinary heir. This rule embraces 
debt still owing to the father at his death, even if under deed 
or bond, since the debt is considered an asset still to fall due 
and not yet in possession. If, however, the loan was secured 
by a pledge, or mortgage, the firstborn takes a double por- 
tion since in Jewish law the creditor acquires a right over the 
pledged property (Git. 37a) and a loan thus secured is there- 
fore considered as an asset in possession (see generally Bek. 
5ib~52a; bb 125b; commentators and Posekim ad loc). For the 
same reasons the firstborn does not take a double portion of 
improvements or increments from which the father's estate 
has benefited after his death, except with regard to natural in- 
crements - as for instance in the case of a sapling which has 
become full-grown (ibid.). 


father. The above-mentioned underlying biblical injunc- 
tion precludes the father from depriving the firstborn of his 
particular right of inheritance. Consequently, any form of tes- 
tamentary disposition (see *Wills) by a father purporting to 
bequeath to the firstborn less than his prescribed double por- 
tion of the inheritance is null and void. This rule only applies, 
however, where the father has clearly adopted the language of 
a testator, since a father cannot change the laws of inheritance 
as such (Maim., Yad, Nahalot 6:1). Consequently, if the father 
has expressed himself in terms of making a gift, his disposi- 
tion will stand (although "the spirit of the sages takes no de- 
light therein," bb 133b and see Posekim) y since he may freely 
dispose of his assets by way of gift. Since the exercise of the 
birthright involves a corresponding greater liability for the 
debts of the estate, the firstborn may escape such additional 
liability byway of renouncing his prerogative before the divi- 
sion of the estate (bb 124a; Sh. Ar., hm 278:10). 

state of Israel law. The Law of Inheritance 5725 - 1965 

of the State of Israel does not include any prerogative of the 


[Ben-Zion (Benno) Schereschewsky] 

bibliography: A.S. Hartom, in: em, 2 (1954), 123-6 (incl. 
bibl.); I. Mendelsohn, in: basor, 156 (1959), 38-40; Redemption of the 

Firstborn: Eisenstein, Dinim, 43-4, 333-4; H. Schauss, The Lifetime of 
a Jew (1950), 18, 29, 48-50; N. Gottlieb, A Jewish Child Is Born (i960); 
Fast:, Das mosaisch-talmudische Erbrecht (1890), 12-14, nos - 16-20; R. 
Kirsch, Der Erstgeborene nach mosaisch-talmudischem Recht, 1 (1901); 
Gulak, Yesodei, 3 (1922), 10, 74-76, 78, 84f., 102, 131; Herzog, Instit, 
1 (1936), 50; et, 1 (1951 3 ), 4f.; 3 (1951), 276-83; 11 (1965), 37-39; B.-Z. 
Schereschewsky, Dinei Mishpahah (1967 2 ), 353-8. add bibliogra- 
phy: Elon, Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1988), 1, 110, 112, 279, 770, 111, 1413; 
Idem., Jewish Law (1994), 1, 124, 126, 329, 11, 948, IV, 1683. 

FIRST FRUITS, that portion of the fruits of each years har- 
vest that following the biblical injunction was to be taken to 
the Temple in Jerusalem. 

In the Bible 

The Hebrew term bikkurim and related terms for the "first 
fruits" derive from the same root as bekhor, "firstborn (see 
^Firstborn). On the same general principle that the firstborn 
of man and beast belonged to the God of Israel and were to 
be devoted to Him, the first fruits, including the first grains to 
ripen each season, were to be brought as an offering to God. 
Every Israelite who possessed the means of agricultural pro- 
ductivity was under this obligation (Ex. 23:19; 34:26, Num. 
15:17-21; 18:12-13; Deut. 26:1-11). A frequent synonym for bik- 
kurim is reshit, "the first [fruits]." 

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 contains detailed procedures for 
the offering of the first fruits, including the text of a liturgical 
recitation incumbent upon any who offered their first fruits in 
the sanctuary. The manner of oblation prescribed in that pas- 
sage represents a distinctive mode, whereby the substances in- 
volved were not burnt on the altar but were merely displayed, 
and later assigned to the priests as part of their cultic income 
(cf. Num. 18:12-13; Deut. 18:3-5). On the other hand, Leviti- 
cus 2:14 speaks of minhat bikkurim y "a grain offering of first 
fruits," prescribing that part of it be burnt on the altar. It would 
seem, therefore, that at least some of the grain brought as first 
fruits was disposed of in that manner, although the prescrip- 
tion of Leviticus may reflect the tendency to accommodate 
older forms of sacrifice to the particularly Israelite practice of 
the burnt offering. It is difficult to identify this minhah within 
the context of first fruit offerings. It has been identified with 
the "grain offering of fresh grain" (minhah hadashah) of Le- 
viticus 23:16; but that poses a problem, since the rule was that 
no leavened dough could be brought up on the altar, and the 
offering of fresh grain mentioned in that passage was to be 
baked from leavened dough. The offerings of first fruits were 
both an individual obligation and a part of public festival cel- 
ebrations, particularly the celebration of *Shavuot, also called 
Hag ha-Bikkurim y "the first fruits festival" (Ex. 23:16; 34:22; 
Lev. 23:16-17; Num. 28:26). 

A sheaf of the new barley harvest ( c omer) was offered on 
the second day of the Passover festival (Lev. 23:10-11, 15-16). 
According to the Mishnah (Bik. 1:3, 6, 9), in Second Temple 
times the pilgrimage to the Temple for the purpose of offer- 
ing the first fruits could be undertaken anytime between 
Shavuot, in the late spring, and *Sukkot, in the fall (but see 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


below), but the festival of Shavuot was the first date for this 
offering. A rite notionally related to the offering of first fruits 
was the bringing of the fruit of trees during their fourth year 
of fruit bearing (Lev. 19:23-25). In both cases, an offering was 
required to release the fruit, as it were, for consumption by 
its owners. According to Leviticus 23:17, the offering of fresh 
grain was to be presented in the form of two loaves of baked, 
leavened bread. 

There are no specifications as to the amounts or percent- 
ages of seasonal yield required for the offering of first fruits, 
but there does exist, on the other hand, a text for the recita- 
tion which was to accompany the offering, in Deuteronomy 
26:5-10. A part of it has been incorporated in the Passover 
Haggadah. It consists of a review of Israels early history, trac- 
ing Israelite origins to the pre -Egyptian period, and express- 
ing gratitude to God for the redemption from Egypt. It cul- 
minates in an acknowledgment that as an Israelite, the one 
reciting the declaration is thankful for having been brought to 
the rich Promised Land, in recognition of which he is offering 
the first fruits of the land as a sacrifice. Only a few such reci- 
tations are preserved in the Torah, another being designated 
for the bringing of a type of tithe (Deut. 26:13-15). 

Typologically, the offering of first fruits would seem to 
represent a very ancient practice, and yet it is not referred to 
in the historical books of the Bible, in descriptions of cultic 
activity, and most references are limited to the Pentateuch, 
post-Exilic literature and the Book of Ezekiel. The celebration 
mentioned in Judges 9:27, in connection with the grape har- 
vest, may be related to the offering of first fruits, and a pos- 
sible reference may be 1 Samuel 2:29. The Book of Proverbs 
(3:9) refers to the practice as a prerequisite to securing Gods 
material blessings. As noted above, certain problems remain 
in reconciling the codes of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and 
generally speaking, the biblical evidence leaves some gaps in 
understanding precisely how the rites connected with the first 

fruits operated. 

[Baruch A. Levine] 

In Halakhah 

According to rabbinic interpretation the duty of bringing first 
fruits was confined to the seven distinct species growing in 
Erez Israel, i.e., wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive 
oil, and dates ("honey"). The fruits were given to the priests 
after the donor had recited the confession (Deut. 26; 1-11) 
acknowledging God as the one who redeemed the Israelites 
from the Egyptian bondage, and expressing gratitude to God 
who brought them to the Promised Land. The bikkurim were 
brought between Shavuot (hence its designation as Hag ha- 
Bikkurim - "the first fruits festival") and Sukkot. They could 
be brought as late as *Hanukkah, but after Sukkot no decla- 
ration was made. 

If the fruits were stolen or became unclean or unfit for 
consumption, others had to be brought. A proselyte also had 
to offer the first fruits but he did not recite the confession as he 
could not say "which the Lord swore unto our fathers to give 
us" (Deut. 26:3). An Israelite (i.e., one who was not a priest or 

levite) was strictly forbidden to eat the first fruits; if he con- 
sumed them in error, a fifth of their worth in money had to 
be added as restitution (penalty). The Mishnah (Bik. 3:2-9) 
gives a vivid account of the first fruit offering ceremony in the 
period of the Second Temple. In the early morning hours, the 
people gathered in the open squares of the district towns and 
started their journey to Jerusalem, singing "Arise ye and let 
us go up to Zion, unto the Lord our God." The people walked 
in procession headed by an ox whose horns were wreathed 
with gold and silver, and his head with olive branches. The pil- 
grims were accompanied by musicians playing the flute. Rich 
people took the first fruits in baskets of silver and gold, while 
the poor carried them in wicker baskets made of peeled wil- 
low branches (which they gave to the priests together with the 
first fruits). The baskets contained the choicest fruits and had 
pigeons perched on top; these were sacrificed at the Temple. 
At the outskirts of Jerusalem, the procession was met by the 
Temple prefects and treasurers, and the pilgrims were escorted 
amid the cheers of the populace to the Temple Mount. There 
the choir of the levites welcomed them with the chanting of 
Psalm 30. Originally, everyone who could recite the confes- 
sion did so by himself. However, in order not to shame those 
who did not know the text (and might, therefore, refrain from 
offering the first fruit) it was ordained that all people repeat 
the confession as it was read to them by the priest. 

Those who lived close to Jerusalem brought fresh fruit 
and those who lived far, dried fruits. The minimum quantity 
of first fruits that could be offered was Vko of the harvest. The 
first fruit had to be brought only from the harvest of the soil of 
historic *Erez Israel. According to rabbinic law, however, 
this included also sore parts of Transjordan and southern 

The first-fruit offering was accompanied by other shela- 
mim ("peace offerings") and the pilgrims were bound, out 
of respect for the Temple, to stay in Jerusalem overnight be- 
fore returning to their villages (Deut. 16:7). Like all terumah 
("heave offerings"), the first fruits were consumed by the 
priests. A priest in mourning for a relative was, however, for- 
bidden to eat them. With the destruction of the Temple, the 
duty of first-fruit offerings was suspended. The description of 
the first-fruit offering in the Mishnah Bikkurim is corrobo- 
rated by Philo (Spec. 2:215-222). 

In modern Israel, the kibbutzim hold bikkurim celebra- 
tions on Shavuot which are evocative of the ancient Temple 
ritual. The children participate in a procession in which agri- 
cultural products are carried and donations are made to the 
Jewish National Fund for land reclamation. 

bibliography: in bible: E.S. Hartom, in: em, 2 (1954), 
126-8, incl. bibl. in halakhah: Maim. Yad, Bikkurim 1-4; Eisen- 
stein, Dinim, s.v. Bikkurim; S. Safrai, Ha-Aliyyah la-Regel bi-Ymei ha- 
Bayit ha-Sheni (1965), 224-8; H. Schauss, The Jewish Festivals (1938), 
177-9. See also bibliography to *Shavuot. 

FIRT (Fuerth), JULIUS (1897-1979), Czech journalist and 
publisher. Born in Sestrouii near Sedlcany (Bohemia), he be- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



came director of the Borovy and Lidove Noviny publishing 
houses in 1936 and during the 1920s and 1930s attended the 
Pdtecnici gatherings (see *Fischer, Otokar). He escaped from 
Czechoslovakia to England, where he worked for the Czecho- 
slovak government-in-exile. Back home, from 1945 to 19 48 he 
served as a deputy in Parliament and was in charge of the Mel- 
antrich publishing house. During his second exile, after 1948, 
he was director of Radio Free Europe in Munich. 

Firt became well known for his book Knihy a osudy 
("Books and Fates") published in exile and smuggled into 
Czechoslovakia, where it was published only in 1991. It pres- 
ents a picture of the spiritual and cultural atmosphere of Ma- 
saryk's First Republic as well as a wealth of information about 
Czech writers, poets, and journalists such as Josef and Karel 
Capek, Ferdinand Peroutka, Karel *Polacek, Ivan *01bracht, 
Vitezslav Nezval, Karel Teige, Bedfich Fucik, the actor Hugo 
Haas, etc. Firt also contributed two articles about the role of 
Jews in the First Republic to Die Burg (1973-74; "The Castle"). 
His Zdznamy (1985; "Notes") appeared posthumously describ- 
ing Czechoslovakia's political situation in 1948 and his exile in 
London during World War 11. 

bibliography: A. MikulaSek et al., Literatura shvezdou Da- 
vidovou, vol. 1 (1998); Slovnik deskych spisovatelu (1982). 

[Milos Pojar (2 nd ed.)] 

FIRUZ, Karaite family, probably of Persian origin, promi- 
nent from the 12 th to 19 th centuries. Its members were authors, 
physicians, poets, envoys, copyists, and bibliophiles. Approxi- 
mately 50 members of the family can be traced. They include: 
al-shams al-karim ibn, head of the Karaites in Cairo 
in 1465 and court banker; and moses ben isaiah, Karaite 
scholar active in Damascus, 1630-45. An engraver by profes- 
sion, Moses b. Isaiah is referred to as "Yerushalmi," indicat- 
ing that he had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Possibly he 
should be identified with Moses b. Isaiah Firuz, the hazzan in 
Damascus, a translator from Arabic into Hebrew, mentioned 
in the itinerary of the Karaite *Samuel b. David. His son Dan- 
iel ben moses, author and physician, active 1663-1700, wrote 
Kitdb al-Murshid, an Arabic compendium of the Duties of the 
Heart of *Bahya b. Joseph ibn Paquda. Firuz included in this 
a Karaite chain of tradition. He is probably the author of an 
Arabic introduction to the Karaite prayer book according 
to the Damascus rite published by Margoliouth. Poznanski 
listed Firuz* liturgical poetry and also published his polemi- 
cal poems directed against *Shabbetai Zevi and *Nathan of 

bibliography: S. Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot (i860), 61, 
167-9 (second pagination); Steinschneider, Arab Lit, 158; G. Mar- 
goliouth, in: jqr, 18 (1905/06), 505-27; H. Hirschfeld, in: Jews' Col- 
lege Jubilee Volume (1906), 81-100; S. Poznanski, in: mgwj, 57 (1913), 
44-58, 620; 60 (1916), 149-52; Mann, Texts, index. 

[Isaak Dov Ber Markon] 

FIRZOGERIN, Yiddish word for "foresayer" or "precentor"; 
also zogerke. It came to refer to the woman who led prayers 

in the women's section of the synagogue. Since women were 
separated from men during worship, sometimes in a separate 
room, they needed a leader to help them follow the proper 
order of the service. This leader, reciting vernacular transla- 
tions, enabled less educated women, who did not know He- 
brew and often were illiterate, to pray in their own language. 
The firzogerin was probably not an official position in the Jew- 
ish community until late in the 16 th century, and it was not 
firmly established as an East European institution until the 18 th 
century. However, there is evidence that women functioned 
in that capacity during medieval times, especially in Ger- 
many. According to a poetic eulogy written by her husband, 
*Eleazar ben Judah of Worms, in the late 12 th century, *Dul- 
cea of Worms was said to know "the order of the morning and 
evening prayers. ... In all the cities she taught women, enabling 
their pleasant intoning of songs." The i3 th -century Richenza of 
Nurenberg is described in a contemporaneous martyrology 
book as a leader in the women's synagogue, and the gravestone 
of Urania of Worms, a cantor's daughter, calls her a prayer 
leader who "officiated before the women to whom she sang 
the hymnal portions." In the 14 th century, Guta bat Nathan was 
"... the important young woman who prayed for the women 
in her gentle prayers." Ashkenazi Jews migrating into Italy 
in the 15 th century may have brought this custom with them. 
Sixteenth-century documents describe Anna d'Arpino lead- 
ing women's prayers in the synagogue in Rome on Saturdays 
and holidays, a job for which she was paid (although this was 
not always the case). The poet Deborah *Ascarelli, a Sephardi 
woman living in Rome, may also have been a prayer leader. 
She knew Hebrew and translated many parts of the Sephardi 
service into Italian, especially for women. 

As Jews moved into Eastern Europe, the female precentor 
became an accepted institution. Often, the firzogerin was the 
rabbi's wife or daughter; she was likely to be the most learned 
woman in the community and often had some knowledge of 
Hebrew. Some later firzogerins wrote their own Yiddish trans- 
lations of the psalms and prayers, sometimes adding heart- 
felt appeals that related to women's lives. Beginning in the 17 th 
century, many of these prayers had kabbalistic overtones and 
some revealed a high level of Jewish scholarship. 

By the 18 th century, a number of well-educated women 
were serving as firzogerins; some wrote petitionary prayers 
called tkhines for women to recite both in the synagogue and 
at home. The i8 th -century pseudonymous Sarah *Bas-Tovim 
was a prolific writer of tkhines. After her death male writers 
appropriated her name to ensure the popularity of their own 
vernacular prayers. The figure of the firzogerin or zogerke con- 
tinued into the 20 th century; she is described in the anthropo- 
logical study of the shtetl, Life Is With People, as a woman who 
"unlike most of them, is able to read and understand Hebrew. 
She reads the prayers and they repeat it after her, following 
each syllable and intonation. .." A few of these women prayer 
leaders immigrated to the United States in the large migration 
of Jews that began in the 1880s, but by the second half of the 
20 th century, the firzogerin had disappeared in both Europe 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


and the Americas, made obsolete by the Sho ah and an almost 
universal standard of literacy for women. 

bibliography: E. Taitz,, S. Henry and C. Tallan. The jps 
Guide to Jewish Women: 600 B.C.E.-1900 c.e. ( 2003), 77-78, 101; C. 
Weissler, Voices of the Matriarchs: Listening to the Prayers of Early 
Modern Jewish Women (1998); M. Zborowski and E. Herzog, Life 
Is with People: The Culture of the Shtetl (1974), 54; I. Zinberg, A His- 
tory of Jewish Literature, vol. 7, trans, and ed. Bernard Martin (1975), 

23, 249-59. 

[Emily Taitz (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCH, HAROLD (Aharon Harel Fisch; 1923- ), author and 
critic. Fisch was born in Birmingham, England, where his fa- 
ther was rabbi. He studied at the University of Sheffield and at 
Oxford and in 1947 was appointed lecturer in English at Leeds 
University. In 1957, he immigrated to Israel, where he was ap- 
pointed associate professor of English Literature and head of 
the English department at Bar-Ilan University. He became full 
professor in 1964 and served as rector of the university from 
1968 to 1971. He served as the Encyclopaedia Judaica depart- 
mental editor for English literature. His publications include 
The Dual Image: The Figure of the Jew in English and American 
Literature (1959, 19 yi 2 ), Jerusalem and Albion: the Hebraic Fac- 
tor in Seventeenth-Century Literature (1964), Hamlet and the 
Word: The Covenant Pattern in Shakespeare (1971), S.Y.Agnon 
(1975), and The Zionist Revolution (1978). 

He has also translated a number of works, including the 
Jerusalem Bible (1969). Fisch has been prominent in the Land 
of Israel Movement (*Ha-Tenu ah le-Maan Erez Israel ha-She- 
lemah). In 1971, he founded the Institute for Judaism and Con- 
temporary Thought, of which he is chairman. This institute 
holds an international colloquium each year and conducts 
study groups on aspects of contemporary Jewish experience. 

FISCHEL, ARNOLD (1830-1894), religious leader, histo- 
rian, and advocate for the American Jewish chaplaincy. Born 
in Holland, Fischel began his career in 1849 as a speaker on 
Hebrew literature in Brighton and Portsmouth, England. 
He published essays on such themes as "The Cosmogony of 
Moses" and "The Laws of Israel as Represented by the Greeks 
and Romans," and translated Maimonides* Moreh Nevukhim 
(Guide for the Perplexed) from the Arabic original. In 1851, he 
was engaged as lecturer by the Old Hebrew Congregation of 

In 1856, Fischel accepted the invitation of Shearith Israel 
of New York City, the oldest Jewish congregation in America, 
to become its first permanent lecturer. He was welcomed by 
both the Orthodox and Reform press, and was active in the 
Hebrew Benevolent Society, Chevra Bikur Cholim VeKadesh, 
and Touro Literary Institute, among others. His synagogue 
sermons stressed Orthodox beliefs and praised the United 
States as a haven for Jewish freedom. In his Thanksgiving Day 
sermon of i860, he supported the Union in the Civil War as 
more sympathetic to the Jews than the individual states. 

Fischel sought to give positive portrayals of Jewish his- 
tory to Christian audiences, commencing with his address on 

the Holy Land to the American Geographical and Statistical 
Society in 1858. He established his reputation as a pioneering 
historian of American Jewry with his address on "the history 
of the Jews in America" at the New York Historical Society in 
1859 and again in 1861. He correctly authenticated Medieval 
Spanish Jewish coins discovered in Ohio in his 1861 talk at the 
American Ethnographical Society. 

In 1861, Congress had enacted a law requiring that all 
military chaplains be Christian ministers, and the first Jew to 
be elected a chaplain, Michael Allen, was forced to resign. As 
a challenge to the law, Fischel applied for a chaplaincy and 
was refused because of his religion. With the authorization 
of the (Orthodox) Board of Delegates of American Israelites, 
Fischel traveled to Washington, d.c, to lobby for a change 
in the law while serving as a civilian chaplain for Jewish sol- 
diers in the region. 

Fischel secured a meeting with President Lincoln on 
December 11, 1861, gained the presidents support, and pro- 
ceeded to lobby members of Congress. Christian views were 
divided between advocates of religious pluralism and Chris- 
tian fundamentalists. After a broad public debate, the law was 
amended by Congress in July 1862 to accept chaplains of all 
religious denominations. 

The Board of Delegates applied for a chaplaincy for 
Fischel, but the request was denied as unnecessary for the 
small number of Jewish soldiers in his region. Discouraged by 
this, and by a lack of support for other projects he envisioned 
on behalf of Jewish soldiers, Fischel returned permanently to 
Holland in 1864. 

bibliography: J. Waxman, "Arnold Fischel 'Unsung Hero' 
in American Israel," in: American Jewish Historical Quarterly, 60:4 
(June 1971), 325-43; B.W. Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War 
(1951); L.M. Berkowitz, "The Rabbi of the Potomac: Rev. Dr. Arnold 
Fischel V'T," in: Torah Lives (1995); H. Grinstein, The Rise of the Jew- 
ish Community of New York (1945); D. and T. de Sola Pool, An Old 

Faith in the New World (1955). 

[Mark L.Smith (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHEL, HARRY (1865-1948), U.S. businessman and phi- 
lanthropist. Fischel was born in Meretz, Russia, and emigrated 
in 1885 to the United States, settling in New York City. There he 
entered the construction and real estate business and built up 
a sizable company employing largely Jewish builders, to whom 
he granted both Saturday and Sunday as paid days off at a time 
when the six-day week was universal in the trade. Fischel also 
soon became involved in Jewish communal affairs, concen- 
trating on a number of institutions with which he remained 
associated in various capacities for the remainder of his life, 
particularly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (after 1890), 
Beth Israel Hospital (after 1900), and the American Jewish 
Committee (after 1906). Shortly after the Balfour Declaration, 
he was active in the establishment of a number of development 
companies in Palestine. In 1932 he retired from business and 
devoted himself entirely to his philanthropic endeavors, which 
included the endowment of the Harry Fischel Foundation for 
Research in Talmud in Palestine (1933), and large donations 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



to Yeshiva University during the depression of the 1930s. His 
attempts to get the New York Sabbath laws to recognize Sat- 
urday as the official Jewish day of rest are recorded in the bi- 
ography of him by his son-in-law, Herbert Samuel ^Goldstein, 
Forty Years of Struggle for a Principle (1928). Fischel died in 
Jerusalem, where he spent the final year of his life. 

FISCHEL, WALTER JOSEPH (1902-1973), scholar of Ori- 
ental Jewry. Fischel was born in Frankfurt on the Main. From 
1926 to 1945 he was a member of the faculty of Oriental stud- 
ies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taking part in sev- 
eral expeditions to all countries of the Near and Middle East 
and India. From 1945 he was professor of Semitic languages 
and literature at the University of California, Berkeley. After 
his retirement in 1970 he was appointed professor of Jewish 
studies and history at the Santa Cruz campus of the Univer- 
sity of California. Fischels publications centered around two 
major research areas: medieval Islamic civilization and Jew- 
ish civilization. In the former field, his major publications 
include Ibn Khaldun and Tamerlane -Their Dramatic Meeting 
in Damascus in 1401 (1952), Ibn Khaldun in Egypt (1967), and 
Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam (1937; 
reissued with an essay as The Court Jew in the Islamic World, 
1969). He wrote on economic aspects of medieval Islam. In his 
research on Jewish civilization, he stressed the history and lit- 
erature of the Jewish Diaspora in the Orient, especially *Iraq, 
*Kurdistan, ^Persia, * Afghanistan, ^Bukhara, and *India. He 
discovered many significant documents in Dutch, Portuguese, 
and Indian archives. His works on Persia include The Bible in 
Persian Translation, Israel in Iran- A Survey of the Judeo-Per- 
sian Literature, and History of the Jews in Persia and Central 
Asia and Their Literature. On the Jews of India he wrote many 
monographs including a comprehensive work in Hebrew, Ha- 
Yehudim be-Hodu (i960). Fischel served as departmental edi- 
tor of the Encyclopaedia Judaica for the history of the Jews in 
Persia, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and India. 

FISCHELS, MEIR BEN EPHRAIM (also known as Meir 
Fischels; 1703-1769/70), rabbi and talmudist. He was born in 
Bunzlau, and was a descendant of Judah Leib b. Bezalel ("the 
Maharal") of Prague and a contemporary of Ezekiel Landau. 
His father is mentioned under the name Ephraim b. Meir 
Bums (Bimes) Margolioth of Bunzlau. Meir Fischels served 
for 40 years as head of the bet din and the yeshivah in Prague 
until his death. Of his work nothing has remained apart from 
a few responsa collected by his son and by his contemporary 
Eleazar Fleckeles, all his manuscripts having been burnt in 
the great fire that swept Prague in 1754, except for his novel - 
lae on Bava Batra and Berakhot that were still extant in 1905. 
He was a signatory of the ruling given in 1754 of the Allufei 
ha-Kehillah ("leaders of the community") with regard to the 
settlement of the disputes that arose in consequence of the 
conflagration. His name appears as Mayer Feischel Buntzl 
in the list of those who suffered loss through the fire. Ezekiel 
Landau refers to him as "enlightening me as well as halakhic 

scholars" (responsa Noda bi-Yhudah, yd, no, 82), makes ap- 
preciative reference to his erudition and capacity (no. 72), and 
mentions his halakhic decisions (nos.81, 83, 89). 

bibliography: K. Lieben, GakEd (1856), 55-56,110. 114 (Ger- 
man section); 60-61, no. 114 (Hebrew section); S.H. Lieben, in: jjlg, 
2 (1904), 329-30; 18 (1927), 193; S. Seeligmann, Catalog... hebraeischer 
und juedischer Buecher, Handschriften ... Nachgelassen von N.H. Van 
Biema (1904), xi-xiv; Ta-Shema, in: Ha-Sefer, 9 (1961), 47-49. 

[Yehoshua Horowitz] 

FISCHER, Czech family, moses (1759-1833), son of Meir 
*Fischels, was active in the *Haskalah movement in Prague. 
Fischer signed with Raphael *Joel a petition (1790) to allow 
Jews to serve in the army, stating that fulfillment of military 
service was more important than the meticulous observance 
of religious commandments. He corresponded with Moses 
^Mendelssohn on his commentary on the Pentateuch, among 
other subjects, and was a member of the *Gesellsehaft der 
jungen Hebraeer. Later he became Orthodox and from 1816 
served as rabbi in Vienna and as kashrut supervisor. In 1829 
he settled in Eisenstadt. 

Moses' son marcus (Meir, Maier; 1788-1858) moved 
from Vienna to Prague around 1810 and became a clerk in the 
Bohemian Jewish tax administration. Influenced by Baruch 
and Ignaz * Jeiteles, Marcus began to write in both Hebrew and 
German on historical themes. In 1812 he published two parts 
of a history of Rome in Hebrew, Korot Yemei Kedem (the pub- 
lished parts covering the period until the fifth century B.C. e.), 
which he stated could teach devotion to duty, heroism, and 
patriotism. In 1817 Fischer published in Hebrew a history of 
Moroccan Jewry between the seventh and the ninth centuries 
based on historical material written in several languages. 

Marcus falsified a manuscript, the so-called Ramshak 
or Wallerstein chronicle. He put German "translations" from 
the Aramaic and Yiddish sections that it allegedly contained 
at the disposal of Moses Wolf *Jeiteles who incorporated them 
in Zikkaron le-Yom Aharon (1828). These quotations show that 
there were good relations between Jews and gentiles during 
the *Hussite period, and attest to the existence of customs 
which the Prague maskilim were then intending to introduce. 
Fischers falsification was apparently influenced by the na- 
scent Czech national ideologies, which led the Czech patriot 
priest Wenceslas Hanka around the same time to falsify old 
manuscripts in order to demonstrate the antiquity of Czech 
literature. Fischer also published the Historisches Taschenbuch 
fuer Israeliten und Israelitinnen (1811), as well as a collection of 
poems, and several articles in Sulamit. His writings reflect his 
sympathies for republicanism, his appreciation of ^Joseph 11, 
and his opposition to the French Revolution. 

bibliography: I. Gastfreund, Die Wiener Rabbinen (1879), 
110-12; B. Wachstein, Grabinschriften ... Eisenstadt (1922), 217-20, 
Heb. part, 153 no. 713; S.H. Lieben, in: jggjc, 1 (1929), 369-409; R. 
Kestenberg-Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte der Juden in den boehm- 
ischen Laendern, 1 (1969), index. 

[Meir Lamed] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


FISCHER, ANNIE (1914-1995), Hungarian pianist. Born 
in Budapest, Fisher studied in the Liszt Academy of Music 
with Arnold Szekely and Dohnani, and made her debut in 
1922, playing Beethoven's First Concerto. In 1922 she made 
her European debut playing in Zurich. Fischer won the Franz 
Liszt international Competition in Budapest in 1933 with a 
mature and brilliant performance of Liszt s B minor sonata. 
She embarked on an international career, interrupted by the 
war years, which she spent mainly in Sweden. She made her 
American debut in 1961 and appeared at the Salzburg festival 
in 1964. Although she toured throughout the world as con- 
cert pianist and recitalist, she remained essentially a Euro- 
pean-based artist. 

In 1949, 1955, and 1965 Fischer received the Kossuth prize, 
Hungary's highest cultural award. In 1965 she was made hon- 
orary professor at Budapest's Academy of Music and in 1974 
received the Red Banner Order of Labor. Fischer established 
a reputation as a pianist of unique and visionary intensity. Her 
range of keyboard color was wide, from a tender crystal sound 
in Mozart, through a restrained and colorful Schumann, to a 
stormy and vigorous rendition of the Beethoven sonatas. As a 
profound pianist her interpretation was noble and intelligent, 
with a formidable command of structure. Fischer played mu- 
sic from Bach to Bartok. Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann 
were central to her repertory, but she could equally master 
Chopin, Schubert, and Brahms. Inspirational and unpredict- 
able, she made few recordings. 

bibliography: Grove online; mgg 2 ; A. SchifFand T. Vasary, 
Annie Fischer (2002); T. Vasary, "Memories of Annie Fischer," in: The 
Hungarian Quarterly (1995). 

[Naama Ramot (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHER, BERNARD (b. 1821), Austrian rabbi and author. 
Fischer was born in the village of Budikau, in Bohemia. He 
received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Prague in 
1850. Fischer served as the rabbi of various small congrega- 
tions in the district of Eger. He prepared new editions of Bux- 
torf 's rabbinic lexicon (1873) and Wiener's Chaldaic grammar 
(1882). He also edited Bikkurei Ha-Ittim, an illustrated Hebrew 
monthly, in Leipzig in 1863. 

°FISCHER, CAROLUS (Karl; 1755-1844), Christian Hebra- 
ist. Fischer was librarian of Prague University and served as 
government- appointed censor of Hebrew books and transla- 
tor in Prague from 1788 (see ^Censorship), the first layman 
to serve in this capacity. Fischer was on friendly terms with 
Eleazar *Fleckeles. His query about the validity of a Jews 
oath to a gentile appears in Fleckeles* Teshuvah me-Ahavah 
(no. 26). He wrote notes to Moses *Landaus Aramaic-Ger- 
man dictionary and an introduction to Leopold *Dukes* Ger- 
man translation of Rashis commentary on the Pentateuch. 
In 1813 he submitted to the authorities a memorandum con- 
cerning the use of the term nokhri in talmudic literature; he 
left a summary of his opinions on Jewish problems based on 
his experiences in censorship (dated 1814). Fischers Gutmei- 

nung ueber den Talmud der Hebraeer (completed in 1802) 
was published by Emanuel *Baumgarten in 1883 as a contri- 
bution to the *Bloch-*Rohling controversy over the Talmud. 
Two manuscript volumes mainly containing Fischer s Hebrew 
correspondence with Eleazar Fleckeles, Bezalel *Ranschburg, 
and other scholars, as well as paragraphs he had deleted from 
books, are in the Prague University library. Fischer was in 
personal contact with members of the *Gesellschaft der jun- 
gen Hebraeer, and permitted Israel *Landau and Meir (Mar- 
cus) *Fischer to use the university library, closed until then 
to Jews. 

bibliography: G. Kisch, in: jggjc, 2 (1930), 469-70; F. 
Roubik, ibid., 6 (1934), 292-5; 7 (1935), 305-16, 364-8; S.H. Lieben, in: 
mgwj, 62 (1918), 49-56; R. Kestenberg-Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte 
der fuden in den boehmischen Laendern (1969), index; idem, in: Ju- 
daica Bohemiae, 4 (1968), 68-70. 

FISCHER, EDMOND (1920- ), U.S. biochemist. Fischer was 
born in Shanghai and from age seven was educated in Swit- 
zerland where he graduated in biology and chemistry from 
the University of Geneva and obtained his D.Sc. in chemistry 
under the direction of Kurt Meyer. After research appoint- 
ments at the Rockefeller Institute, New York, and the Cali- 
fornia Institute of Technology, Pasadena, he joined the de- 
partment of biochemistry of the University of Washington, 
Seattle (1953), where he was appointed professor (1961) and 
professor emeritus from 1990. Fischers main research dis- 
coveries relate to protein phosphorylation, the process in- 
volved in vital metabolic activities such as providing energy 
from stored sugar in active muscles. He and his colleagues 
helped to elucidate the enzymes controlling phosphorylation 
and the regulation of these enzymes. He was awarded the No- 
bel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1992) jointly with Ed- 
win Krebs. Subsequently he made important contributions 
to elucidating the way in which protein phosphatases help 
to orchestrate the response of cells to external stimuli. His 
many honors include the Werner Medal of the Swiss Chemi- 
cal Society, the Senior Passano Award, and election to the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1972) and the U.S. 
National Academy of Sciences (1973). He is an accomplished 
pianist who contemplated a career in music before turning to 


[Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHER, GYULA (Julius; 1861-1944), Hungarian scholar 
and rabbi, Born in Sarkeresztur, Fischer studied at the Buda- 
pest rabbinical seminary and was appointed rabbi of Gyor 
(Raab) in 1887, Prague in 1898, and Budapest (1905) where 
he was chief rabbi (1921-43). In 1905 he became lecturer in 
rabbinic literature and Midrash at the rabbinical seminary, 
and for a time was acting director of the seminary. A man 
of wide Jewish and general erudition, Fischer wrote a mono- 
graph on Judah ibn Tibbon (1885) and translated into Hun- 
garian Philos Life of Moses (1925). He contributed many ar- 
ticles and essays in German and Hungarian to Jewish and 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



general periodicals. Fischer was a gifted orator and one of 
the first Hungarian Neolog rabbis to support the rebuilding 
of Erez Israel. 

bibliography: I. Hahn, in; Catalogue of the Jewish Theologi- 
cal Seminary of Hungary, 6J-69 (1946), 22-23 (Hg.). 

[Baruch Yaron] 

FISCHER, JEAN (1871-1929), Zionist leader in Belgium. 
Born in Cracow, Fischer emigrated to Belgium in his youth 
and became a prominent diamond merchant. He was an active 
supporter of Herzls political Zionism. During World War 1 
he initiated the transfer of the ^Jewish National Fund office 
to the Hague and, together with Jaeobus *Kann, Nehemiah 
*de Lieme, and Julius *Simon, was a member of the commit- 
tee established to run the activities of the Zionist Organiza- 
tion. Active in all spheres of Jewish public life in Belgium, 
Fischer headed the Zionist Federation for many years. In ad- 
dition to many articles on Zionist matters, he published Das 
heutige Palaestina (1908), a book about his 1907 visit to Erez 
Israel. The moshavah Kefar Yonah in the Plain of Sharon is 

named after him. 

[Getzel Kressel] 

His son maurice (1903-1965) was an Israeli diplomat. 
Born in Antwerp, he settled in Palestine in 1930 and was a 
founder of Kefar Yonah. In 1931 he founded the Mattaei ha- 
Sharon Agricultural Development Company. During World 
War 11 he served as an officer in the Free French Army and 
was twice decorated. In the crucial years of 1947-48 Fischer, 
then in France, served as official delegate of the Jewish Agency 
Political Department. Later he served in France as Israels 
diplomatic representative, and eventually ambassador, un- 
til 1953. At the same time he headed the Israel delegation to 
unesco. In 1948 he was cosignatory of the Fischer-Chauvel 
Agreement, which defined the status of French institutions 
in the newly founded State of Israel. From 1953 to 1957 he was 
minister to Turkey, and from i960 until his death ambassador 

to Italy. 

[Netanel Lorch] 

bibliography: Tidhar, 2 (1961), 3750-51; Haolam (1929), 
1037; (i93°)> 15- 

FISCHER, JOSEF (1871-1949), rabbi, historian of Danish 
Jewry. Born in Hungary, Fischer served as dayyan and librar- 
ian of the Copenhagen Jewish community from 1893, and was 
in charge of its welfare work from 1901 to 1932. He was a lead- 
ing member of the Mizrachi movement in Denmark. Fischer 
wrote extensively on the genealogy of Jewish families in Den- 
mark and the history of Danish Jewry in general; some of his 
studies were translated into English and German. He edited 
the Tidsskrift for Jo disk Historie ogLitteratur ("Journal for Jew- 
ish History and Literature") in 1917-25 and contributed to the 
Dansk Biografisk Leksikon. His son leo became president of 
the Copenhagen Jewish community in 1964. 

[Bent Melchior] 

FISCHER, LOUIS (1896-1970), U.S. author and journalist, 
authority on Soviet Russia. Fischer, who was born in Philadel- 
phia, worked first as a teacher. In 1917 he enlisted in the Jewish 
Legion recruited by the British in World War 1 to fight in Pal- 
estine. The war was over by the time he arrived in Palestine, 
but he stayed on to familiarize himself with the country and 
to become acquainted with Jewish leaders. In 1922 he went to 
Russia where he remained for 14 years. No foreign journalist 
then or later came to know so many of the top leaders of the 
Revolution. Oil Imperialism (1926) was Fischers first book on 
the Soviet Union. Permitted by the Foreign Commissariat to 
study their archives, he wrote the highly authoritative two-vol- 
ume study, The Soviets in World Affairs (1930). With the Stalin- 
ist purges in the mid-thirties, when many of his close friends 
were sent to concentration camps or shot, Fischer left the So- 
viet Union and went to Spain. There he enlisted in the Inter- 
national Brigades and, after the collapse of the Republican 
regime, went on a tour round the world. He took a particular 
interest in India, where he became a close friend of Mahatma 
*Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Later Fischer became disillu- 
sioned with Communism and he participated in The God that 
Failed (1950), a symposium of noted writers who had aban- 
doned their belief in Communism. His books include: Why 
Recognize Russia? (1933); Soviet Journey (1935); The War in 
Spain (1937); Stalin and Hitler (1940); an autobiography, Men 
and Politics (1941); Dawn of Victory (1942); Gandhi and Sta- 
lin (1947); The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950); The Life and 
Death of Stalin (1952); Russia, America and the World (1961); 
and The Life of Lenin (1964). In 1959 he became a member of 
the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University, and 
later a research associate and lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson 

School of the university. 

[Maurice Gerschon Hindus] 

FISCHER, MORITZ VON (1800-1900), Hungarian porce- 
lain manufacturer. Fischer's porcelain company in Herend, 
Hungarian, rendered distinguished service to the country's in- 
dustry and art. He was compelled to struggle against innumer- 
able difficulties before he succeeded in developing his small 
factory in 1839. Because of the company s skills and talent, it 
became a veritable art institute, comparing favorably with the 
established porcelain establishments such as those in Berlin 
and Meissen. The company was represented at a large num- 
ber of international exhibitions, and invariably was awarded 
first prizes. In recognition of his services, Fischer's grandson, 
Eugene von Fischer, was raised to the nobility by Emperor 
Francis Joseph I in 1869. 

FISCHER, OTOKAR (1883-1938), Czech writer, poet, play- 
wright, translator, and critic. Fischer, who was born into an 
assimilated Jewish family in Kolin, Bohemia, became pro- 
fessor of German literature at Prague's Czech university. He 
edited the literary reviews Kritika and Jeviste, contributed 
to other important Czech periodicals, and served as the di- 
rector of the Prague National Theater. One of the outstand- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


ing exponents of Czech culture between the two world wars, 
Fischer was a prolific writer. His voluminous series of essays 
and monographs include two volumes on Heine, studies of 
Kleist and Nietzsche, and two collections of essays entitled 
Duse a slovo ("The Soul and the Word," 1929), and Slovo a 
svet ("The Word and the World," 1937). His works include 
more than a dozen volumes of poetry. In spite of his assimi- 
lated background, Fischer was always conscious of his Jew- 
ish spiritual roots and was tortured by a perpetual need for 
self- analysis. His second book of poems, Ozdfend okna ("Lit 
Windows," 1916), proclaims his origin, and in the collection 
Leto ("The Summer," 1919), he again sees himself as a descen- 
dant of the * Wandering Jew. It was, however, only in the verse 
collection Hlasy ("Voices," 1923), which marks his maturity as 
a poet, that Fischer accepted the inescapability of his Jewish 
heritage. It was indeed no mere chance that Fischer's work on 
Heine (1922-24) was written at the same time as Hlasy; and in 
his translation of the Poemes juifs of Andre *Spire, Fischer in- 
cluded a letter from Spire in which a parallel is drawn between 
the two poets. While both Heine and Fischer began writing 
not only in the language but also in the spirit of their environ- 
ment, Spire notes, they could not in the end help returning 
to the Jewishness so deeply lodged in their souls. A number 
of Fischer's dramas - notably Pfemyslovci ("The Pfemysl Dy- 
nasty," 1918), Herakles (1919), and Otroci ("The Slaves," 1925) 
- were Czech stage successes. His outstanding translation 
from German literature is his version of Goethe's Faust. He 
also translated Heine, Kleist, Nietzsche, Schiller, Bruekner, 
Hofmannsthal, and Wedekind, as well as many other world- 
famous authors. He attended the informal Pdtecnici gather- 
ings ("Friday's visitors") which convened regularly every Fri- 
day on the initiative of the Czech writer Karel Capek in the 
years 1924-1937, including President T.G. Masaryk and Foreign 
Minister E. Benes. Fischer's younger brother josef fischer 
(1891-1945), philosopher and sociologist, was executed by the 

bibliography: P. VaSa and A. Gregor, Katechismus dejin 
deske literatury (1925); B. Vaclavek, Ceskd literatura xx. stoleti (1935); 
Hostovsky, in: Jews of Czechoslovakia, 1 (1968), 442-4. add. bibli- 
ography: Lexikon deske literatury (1985); A. MikulaSek et al., Lit- 
eratura s hvezdou Davidovou, vol. 1 (1998). 

[Avigdor Dagan / Milos Pojar (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHER, RUTH (nee Eisler, also known as Elfriede Golke 
or Friedlaender; 1895-1961), Austrian Communist. Born in 
Leipzig, Ruth Fischer studied philosophy, politics, and eco- 
nomics at the University of Vienna where her father, Rudolph 
*Eisler, was a professor of philosophy. She was a sister of Ger- 
hardt *Eisler and Hans *Eisler. She became co-founder of the 
Communist Party of Austria in November, 1918 and settled in 
Berlin during the following year. A leading figure in the Ger- 
man Communist Party, she was a member of the presidium 
of the Communist International and was elected to the Reich- 
stag in 1924. In 1926 she was suspended from the party but 
continued to sit in the Reichstag until 1933, when she fled to 

Paris; she also remained a member of the Reichsrat from 1924 
to 1928. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States, where 
she developed a more critical stance regarding Stalinism. Af- 
ter 1955 she returned to Paris, where she died in 1961. Ruth 
Fischer published several works on international Commu- 
nism including: Stalin and German Communism (1948), Von 
Lenin zu Mao; Kommunismus in der Bandung-Aera (1956), 
and Die Umformung der Sow etgesellschaft, Chronik der Re- 
formen 1953-1958 (1958). 

bibliography: New York Times (March 16, 1961). add. bib- 
liography: R. Levine-Meyer, Inside German Communism: Mem- 
oirs of Party Life in the Weimar Republic (1977). 

FISCHER, SAMUEL (1859-1934), German publisher, Fischer, 
who was born in Liptoszentmiklos, Slovakia, went to Berlin 
in 1881 and began trading there as a bookseller. In 1886 he 
founded the Fischer Verlag, specializing in the publication of 
foreign naturalist literature and of as yet little -known German 
authors. From 1898 onward, the character of the publishing 
house was largely determined by Moritz *Heimann, who was 
later succeeded as literary adviser by the poet Oskar Loerke. 
Fischer lent enthusiastic support to the "Freie Buehne," which 
sought to revitalize the German theater, and in 1889 began 
publishing its mouthpiece, the monthly Die Neue Rundschau. 
Until the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 the Fischer Verlag was 
Germany's leading literary publishing house. Fischer himself 
encouraged successive generations of aspiring young authors 
and secured the rights to publication of books by an impres- 
sive array of major writers, including Thomas *Mann, Arthur 
*Schnitzler, Jacob *Wassermann, Hugo von ^Hofmannsthal, 
and Sigmund *Freud. Loerke, a staunch anti-Nazi, tried vainly 
to save the company under Hitler, and courageously delivered 
Fischer's funeral oration in 1934. Two years later, however, the 
publishing house was forced to move to Vienna and from there 
it was subsequently transferred to Stockholm (1938) and then 
to New York (1940). Gottfried Bermann-Fischer, the found- 
er's son-in-law, assumed control of the firm in 1934 and main- 
tained its activity abroad. In 1972 Gottfried Bermann-Fischer 
and his wife Brigitte, the daughter of Samuel Fischer, resigned 
from the Board of the Fischer Verlag and retired from all pub- 
lishing activities. 

In 1950 the Fischer Verlag resumed its publishing op- 
erations in Frankfurt. The well-known Fischer Buecherei, 
which specializes in paperback editions, was founded in 1952. 
S. Fischer und sein Verlag by Peter De Mendelssohn, giv- 
ing a complete history of the publishing house, appeared in 

bibliography: G. Berman-Fischer, Der Fischer Verlag 

FISCHER, STANLEY (1943- ), international economist 
and governor of the Bank of Israel. Born in Lusaka, Zambia, 
Fischer came to the United States in 1966 and was naturalized 
in 1976. He received both a bachelor and masters degree of 
science in economics from the London School of Economics 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



and a Ph.D. in economics from mit (Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology). He served as assistant professor of economics 
at the University of Chicago until 1973, after which he served 
as associate professor and finally professor at mit s Depart- 
ment of Economics. During this time he was a visiting pro- 
fessor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Hoover 
Institution at Stanford. His ties to Israel are deep. 

Fischer moved into international finance and economy 
in the business world in 1988 as vice president, development 
economics, and chief economist at the World Bank, then be- 
coming the first deputy managing director of the International 
Monetary Fund from September 1994 through August 2001. 
Fischer then held several positions at Citigroup beginning in 
February 2002. In January 2005 Fischer agreed to become the 
next governor of the Bank of Israel after nomination by Prime 
Minister Ariel *Sharon and Finance Minister Binyamin ^Ne- 
tanyahu and a recommendation by the Israeli cabinet. He was 
appointed to the five-year term on May 1, 2005. While some 
criticized the appointment of a non-Israeli to the position, 
Finance Minister Netanyahu defended the decision, stat- 
ing that Fischer is knowledgeable about Israeli economy and 
society. "The fact that a man like him is ready to finish his 
affairs at Citigroup, immigrate to Israel, and become the 
central bank governor here is a golden opportunity for the 
Israeli economy," Prime Minister Sharon said in a statement. 
Fischers appointment meant a substantial pay cut, a long-dis- 
tance move, and the necessity to become immersed in learn- 
ing more of the Hebrew language, which he already spoke 
fairly well. 

A Guggenheim Fellow, Fischer is also a Fellow of the 
Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences. His memberships include the Council on Foreign 
Relations, the G-30, the Trilateral Commission, and designa- 
tion as research associate of the National Bureau of Economic 
Research. He served on boards for the Institute for Interna- 
tional Economics, the International Crisis Group, Women's 
World Banking, and the International Advisory Board of the 
New Economic School in Moscow. 

Fischers lengthy list of published works includes exten- 
sive writings for scholarly and economic journals. He also 
held positions as associate editor, editor, and member of ed- 
itorial advisor boards for a number of economic journals. 
Books authored or edited by Fischer include Macroeconomics, 
(co-author, 2004 9 ); imf Essays from a Time of Crisis: The 
International Financial System, Stabilization, and Develop- 
ment (2004); The Economics of Middle East Peace (co-edi- 
tor, 1994). 

[Lisa DeShantz-Cook (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHHOFF, ADOLF (1816-1893), Austrian politician; one 
of the leaders of the 1848 revolution. As the first to suggest so- 
lutions to the problems of the Hapsburg monarchy by plac- 
ing its various nationalities on an equal footing, he influenced 
the formulation of Jewish *Autonomism. Born in Budapest, 
Fischhoff went to Vienna in 1836 to study medicine. After the 

outbreak of the revolution, he became head of its highest gov- 
erning body, the security council (Sicherheitsausschuss) and 
was active in various administrative capacities and in parlia- 
ment. Fischhoff remained to face trial after the failure of the 
revolution. Acquitted in 1849, he was nonetheless deprived of 
political rights which were not restored to him until 1867. He 
practiced medicine in Vienna, but lost his assets in the stock- 
market crash of 1873. Subsequently he settled in Emmersdorf, 
Carinthia, where Austrian politicians came to consult the 
"sage of Emmersdorf." In collaboration with Joseph *Unger, 
he published anonymously Zur Loesung der ungarischen Frage 
(1861) outlining the compromise reached in 1867. In Oester- 
reich und die Buergschaften seines Bestandes (1869) he sug- 
gested the introduction of municipal autonomy, decentral- 
ization, and representative institutions, in conjunction with a 
conciliatory attitude toward the nationalities and their rights, 
a nationality law, and a court of national arbitration. In 1875 he 
published a pamphlet in favor of disarmament, Zur Reduktion 
der kontinentalen Heere. He was unsuccessful in an attempt 
in 1882 to found a Deutsche Volkspartei to rally liberals from 
all nationalities, the chief opposition coming from the Jewish 
leaders of the Vienna German liberals. Fischhoff s ideas were 
fundamental to the development of Jewish national policy in 
the Hapsburg domains. Joseph Samuel *Bloch tried to apply 
Fischhoff s ideas on relationships in the multi-national Aus- 
tro-Hungarian Empire for the benefit of Galician Jewry. The 
*Juedische Volkspartei formulated its program along the lines 
of Fischhoff s Deutsche Volkspartei. Fischhoff was rarely ac- 
tive in Jewish affairs, but in 1851 he drew up, at the request of 
Leo *Herzberg-Fraenkel, a statute of association for Jewish 
agricultural colonization in Galicia. He signed the request 
to permit the founding of a *Kultusverein in Klagenfurt. He 
corresponded with some of his friends in Hebrew script. 
It was Fischhoff s express wish to be buried in the Jewish 

bibliography: J. Fischer, Adolf Fischhof (Heb., 1895); A. 
Frankl-Gruen, Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier (1896), 175-95 an d 
passim; R. Charmatz, Adolf Fischhof (1910); W.J. Cahnman, in: ylbi, 
4 (i958)> 111-39; J«S. Bloch, Reminiscences (1923), 55-60; N.M. Gelber, 
Aus zwei Jahrhunderten (1924), 126-31; L. Goldhammer, in: Juedisches 
Jahrbuchfuer Oesterreich (1933), 126-30; M. Grunwald, Vienna (1936), 
index; R. Kann, The Multinational Empire (1950), index; R.J. Roth, 
Viennese Revolution of 1848 (1957), index; R Robertson, Revolutions 
of 1848 (i960 2 ), index; J. Guvrin, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der 
Juden (1964), 83-98; Y. Toury, Mehumah u-Mevukhah be-Mahpekhat 
1848 (1968), index; J. Goldmark, Pilgrims of 48 (1930). add. bibli- 
ography: W.J. Cahnmann, "Adolf Fischhof als Verfechter der Na- 
tionalist und seine Auswirkungen auf das judisch-politische Denken 
in Oesterreich," in: Studia Judaica Austriaca, 1 (1974), 78-91; W Klim- 
bacher, "Adolf Fischhof - Jude, revolutionarer Arzt und politischer 
Visionar," in: Das judische Echo, 45 (1996), 123-32; WJ. Cahnmann, 
"Adolf Fischhofs judische Personlichkeit und Weltanschauung," in: 

Kairos, 14 (1972), 110-20. 

[Meir Lamed] 

FISCHHOFF, JOSEPH (1804-1857), Austrian pianist and 
composer. In 1813, Fischhoff began to study at the lyceum in 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Brunn, at the same time receiving instruction in music from 
the pianist Jahelka and the bandmaster Rieger. After com- 
pleting his studies at the lyceum, he went to the University of 
Vienna to study philosophy and medicine. 

The sudden death of his father in 1827 changed Fis- 
choff 's career. He decided to devote himself from that time 
entirely to his art, and in 1833 became professor at the con- 
servatory of music in Vienna. He was one of the most pop- 
ular pianists in the Austrian capital, distinguishing himself 
particularly by his rendition of the compositions of Bach, 
Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. He published a string 
quartet, many piano pieces, variations for the flute, and 

FISCHLER, STAN (1932- ), U.S. author, sportscaster, lead- 
ing authority on ice hockey. Born in Brooklyn, New York, 
and educated at Brooklyn College, Fischler covered hockey 
for over 50 years, beginning as a publicist for the New York 
Rangers. He wrote for the Brooklyn Eagle, the New York Jour- 
nal-American, and the Toronto Star from 1955 through 1977, 
and then began his broadcasting career in Boston as an analyst 
for the New England Whalers of the wha in 1973-74. Fisch- 
ler joined SportsChannel New York (later fox Sports Net) at 
its inception in 1975, for which he continued covering New 
York metropolitan area nhl teams. Known as "The Hockey 
Maven," Fischler with the help of his wife, Shirley, authored 
or co-authored more than 90 books on hockey, including 
Fischler s Hockey Encyclopedia (1975), Great Book of Hockey: 
More Than 100 Years of Fires on Ice (1991), and Cracked Ice: 
An Insiders Look at the nhl (1995). He wrote for various pub- 
lications, including The New York Times, The Sporting News, 
Sports Illustrated, Sport, Newsweek and the Hockey Digest, 
and later became a columnist for The Hockey News. Fischler s 
other passions are subway systems and their history, and he 
has written a number of books on the subject, including Up- 
town, Downtown: A Trip Through Time on New York's Sub- 
ways (1976), Moving Millions: An Inside Look at Mass Transit 
(1979), and Next Stop Grand Central: A Trip Through Time on 
New York's Metropolitan Area Commuter Railroads (1986). His 
writings have been included in Best American Sports Writing 

of the Century (1999). 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

FISCHMANN, NAHMAN ISAAC (c. 1809-1878), Hebrew 
writer. A member of the young Haskalah group in Lemberg, 
Fischmann published his first book of poetry, Eshkol Anavim, 
in 1827. He was one of the group which published the Ha-Roeh 
pamphlets that sharply criticized the studies by Italian (Reggio 
and S.D. Luzzatto) and Galician (mainly S.J. Rapoport) schol- 
ars with the stated purpose of defending "Jewish traditions." 
Fischmann wrote two didactic biblical plays, Sisera (1841) and 
Kesher Shevna (1870), and published a second volume of po- 
etry, Ha-Et ve-ha-Meshorer, in 1870. He left many unpublished 
poems and talmudic studies, some of which appeared later in 
various periodicals. 

bibliography: J.L. Landau, Short Lectures in Modern Hebrew 
Literature (1938 ), 262-70; S. Bernfeld, Toledot ShIR (1899), 98ft. 

[Getzel Kressel] 

FISCUS JUDAICUS, a fund of the Roman Empire into which 
was paid the money from the special tax levied on the Jews 
by * Vespasian after the destruction of the Temple (Jos., Wars 
7:218; Dio Cassius 66:7,2). This imposition, a poll tax of two 
drachmae, was officially paid to Jupiter Capitolinus and took 
the place of the half- ^shekel which the Jews throughout the 
world had contributed to the Temple while it stood. There 
is evidence to show that this tax was levied in Egypt from 
71-72 c.e. onward. In these documents it is called "the Jew- 
ish tax" and a great deal is known about it, particularly from 
ostraca from Edfu. It is clear that in Egypt even women and 
children as young as three were liable, although they had been 
exempt from the half-shekel. The tax was probably paid in 
Egypt only until the age of 62. In Rome itself a special procu- 
rator called procurator ad capitularia Judaeorum was in charge 
of the fiscus (H. Dessau (ed.), Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, 1 
(1892), 330, no. 1519). In addition to the financial burden it im- 
posed, the tax was humiliating for the Jews. During the reign 
of Domitian (81-96) the methods of collecting the tax were 
strengthened and apparently the Roman authorities became 
much more vigorous in determining who was liable for taxa- 
tion. It was imposed on those who had been born Jews as well 
as those who concealed the fact that they were Jews, and on 
proselytes to Judaism. In various ways this opened the door to 
possibilities of calumny, causing suffering to many residents 
in Rome, and possibly beyond. Suetonius (Vita Domitiani, 
12) relates that when he was young an old man of 90 was ex- 
amined to see whether he was circumcised, which shows that 
during this period the tax was levied even on those above the 
age of 62. After the murder of Domitian in 96, the atmosphere 
changed for the better as is seen from the coins of Nerva which 
bear the inscription fisci Judaici calumnia sublata. However, 
the levy of the tax continued. The latest documentary evi- 
dence is a papyrus from the village of Karanis in Faiyum, up- 
per Egypt (Tcherikover, Corpus, 3 (1964), 17-18, no. 460, line 
7, dated 146 c.e. or 168 c.e.). Literary sources indicate that 
the tax was still in existence in the first half of the third cen- 
tury (Origen, Ad Africanum, 14). It is not known when the tax 
came to an end, but some attribute a decisive role in its aboli- 
tion to *Julian the Apostate. 

bibliography: Schuerer, Gesch, 2 (1907 4 ), 315; 3 (1909 4 ), 

ii7f.; Juster, Juifs, 2 (1914), 282-6; M. Radin, The Jews among the Greeks 

and Romans (1915), 332-4, 362f.; J. Janssen, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Vita 

Domitiani (1919), 59; M.S. Ginsburg, in: jqr, 21 (1930/31), 281-91; 

Baron, Social 2 , 2 (1952), 373~4n; Smallwood, in: Classical Philology, 

51 (1956), 1-13; Tcherikover, Corpus, 2 (i960), 110-36; O. Hirschfeld, 

Die kaiserlichen Verwaltungsbeamten (1963 3 ), 73; H.J. Leon, Jews of 

Ancient Rome (i960), 31, 33, 36, 252. 

[Menahem Stern] 

FISH, HAREL (Harold; 1923- ), literary scholar specializ- 
ing in general literature and the mutual relationship between 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Jewish and non- Jewish culture in literature. Fish was born in 
Birmingham, served as an officer in the British army, and 
fought in World War n. He graduated in 1946 from Sheffield 
University, and in 1948 he received his B.Litt. from Oxford 
University, doing research on Bishop Josef Hall. From 1947 to 
1957 he was a lecturer at Leeds University. In 1957 he immi- 
grated to Israel and joined the faculty of Bar-Illan University, 
becoming a professor there in 1964. In 1968 he was named 
the rector of the university, a position he held until 1971. In 
1971 he founded the David and Batya Kotlers Institute for 
Judaism and Contemporary Thought. From 1981 to 1987 he 
was chairman of the Lechter Institute for Literary Research. 
He published hundreds of articles and eight books, includ- 
ing (in Hebrew) The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton 
and Blake and New-Old Stories: Biblical Patterns in the Novel 
from Fielding to Kafka. In 2000 he was awarded the Israel 

Prize for literature. 

[Shaked Gilboa (2 nd ed.)] 

FISH, STANLEY (1938- ), U.S. literary theorist. Born in 
Providence, Rhode Island, Fish earned his doctoral degree in 
English literature from Yale University in 1962. He taught at 
the University of California, Berkeley, and at Johns Hopkins 
University, before becoming professor of English and of law 
at Duke University (1985-98). He also served as the executive 
director of the Duke University Press from 1993 to 1998. Fish 
was then dean of arts and sciences at the University of Illinois 
at Chicago from 1999 to 2004. 

Considered a leading scholar on John Milton, Fish is a 
well-known and sometimes controversial literary theorist. 
His first published work, John Skeltons Poetry, appeared in 
1965, but he rose to prominence with the publication of his 
second book, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in u Paradise Lost" 
(1967). Here Fish first presented his theory of "reader-response 
criticism," in which he argues that reading is a temporal phe- 
nomenon and that the meaning of a literary work is located 
within the readers experience of the text. His Self-consum- 
ing Artifacts (1972) elaborated and developed the notion of 
reader response into a theory of interpretive communities, in 
which a readers interpretation of a text depends on the read- 
ers membership in one or more communities that share a set 
of assumptions. Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of 
Interpretive Communities (1980), a collection of Fish's essays, 
established his position as one of the most influential literary 
theorists of his day. 

In his later works, Fish extended literary theory into the 
arenas of politics and law, writing on the politics of the uni- 
versity, the nature of free speech, and connections between 
literary theory and legal theory. These works include Do- 
ing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Prac- 
tice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (1989), There's 
No Such Thing as Free Speech, and Its a Good Thing, Too 
( x 994)> Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Politi- 
cal Change (1995), and The Trouble with Principle (1999). 

There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, seen by some as a cri- 
tique of liberalism, generated much debate. In The Trouble 
with Principle, Fish suggests that the application of princi- 
ples impedes democracy, and he examines affirmative ac- 
tion as a case in point, again sparking wide-ranging critique. 
In 2005 Fish was named the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished 
University Professor of Humanities and Law at Florida In- 
ternational University, with a principal appointment in the 
College of Law and a role as lecturer in the College of Arts 

and Sciences. 

[Dorothy BauhofT (2 nd ed.)] 


In the Bible and Talmud 

The Bible says that humans are to exercise dominion over the 
fish as well as over all other subhuman life (Gen. 1:28). Fish 
are divided into clean and unclean by biblical dietary laws: 
"These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything 
in the waters that has fins and scales ... you may eat. But any- 
thing in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales ... is 
an abomination to you" (Lev. 11:9-11). Water creatures lack- 
ing fins and scales are an abomination because they move 
like land animals, transgressing the boundaries of creation 
(Douglas in Bibliography). Similarly, certain fish were avoided 
because they looked like snakes (Firmage in Bibliography). 
When the Hebrews complain to Moses about their diet of 
manna, they recall the fish of Egypt, which they refer to as 
"meat" (Num. 11:4-5). Egypt was known for its abundance 
of fish, and as such they are mentioned as victims of the first 
plague (Ex. 7:18, 21). The likeness of any fish is included in the 
general prohibition of graven images in Deuteronomy 4:15-18. 
In the ancient period fishing served as a significant means of 
support and as an important economic factor both in Egypt 
and Babylonia, but probably less so in Israel. For most of the 
biblical period the southern Mediterranean coast was con- 
trolled by the Philistines and the north by Phoenicians. Na- 
tives of Israel would have fished in the Jordan and the Sea of 
Galilee (Firmage in Bibliography). Whereas *Hammurapis 
laws 26-32 are devoted to fishermen in royal service (cos 11, 
338-39), no regulation of fishermen is found in biblical law. 
While Ashurnasirpals banquet served 10,000 fishes (Wise- 
man in Bibliography), fish are absent from the delicacies of 
Solomon's table (1 Kings 5:2-3). The Bible mentions "the Fish 
Gate" in Jerusalem (Zeph. 1:10; Neh. 3:3; 11 Chron. 33:14), 
which was named after the fish market nearby. Tyrian fish 
merchants selling their wares on the Sabbath in Jerusalem 
are mentioned in Nehemiah 13:16. The abundance of halakhot 
and aggadot about fishing and fishermen in both the Babylo- 
nian and Palestinian Talmuds and in various Midrashim in- 
dicates a considerable fishing industry in the periods of the 
Second Temple and the Talmud. This is also evident from the 
Gospels, as the first disciples of Jesus were fishermen on the 
Sea of Galilee. Josephus frequently refers to Jews engaged in 
that livelihood, as well as to a fleet of fishing vessels on the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Sea of Galilee. A Greek inscription from the second centu- 
ry c.e. about a family or band of Jewish fishermen has been 
found in Jaffa. 

Although the Bible does not provide the name of any 
specific fish, it does mention many fishing implements: rod 
(Isa. 19:8), net (ibid., and Hab. 1:15), trap (Eccles. 9:12), fish- 
ing net (Ezek. 26:5), spear (Job 40:31), and small fishing boats 
(Amos 4:2, according to the Targum). The word reshet ("net"), 
frequent in the Bible in other contexts, appears only once as a 
device to catch fish (Ezek. 32:3). 

The Bibles most famous fish is the large one that swal- 
lowed Jonah and kept him in his belly for three days and nights 
(Jonah 2:1), and who, according to the New Testament, fore- 
shadowed the underworld in which Jesus would spend three 
days and nights. 

The Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds both mention 
the fishing rod and a variety of traps and nets (akon, from 
the Greek o(n)gkinos, "hook," Kel. 23:5; kefifa, Tosef, Makhsh. 
3:12; pitoSy from the Greek pithos, tj, Shab. 13:5, 14a; lehi, ko- 
karei ve-oharei in Shab. 18a, Git. 6ob-6ia, mk 11a; harmei, the 
net-fishers of Tiberias, tj Pes. 4:1, 3od). From the different fish- 
ing devices (such as snares in Kel. 23:5), it is possible to learn 
about other methods of fishing at that time (see Kid. 72a and 
bm 12b). The Midrash makes a reference to fishermen repair- 
ing their nets (Tanh., Va-Yelekh 2). According to the Testa- 
ment of the Twelve Patriarchs, Zebulun "who shall dwell at 
the shore of the sea" (Gen. 49:13) was the first fisherman, and 
a detailed description of fishing is put into his mouth (Test. 
Patr., Zeb. 5:5-6, 8). 

Fishing in the Halakhah 

According to the Talmud the granting of fishing rights to all 
of the tribes around the Sea of Galilee was included in the 
"Ten takkanot of Joshua, the son of Nun," enacted by Joshua 
on the conquest of the land, even though that body of water 
was completely within the boundary of the tribe of Naph- 
tali. "It is permitted to fish with an angle in the Sea of Galilee 
provided that no sail is spread, as this would detain boats" 
(bk 8ia-b). Fish in the sea are considered ownerless prop- 
erty and whoever catches them has the right to keep them. 
It is stated that according to biblical law, this applies even to 
those fish already netted as long as the net has not been drawn 
from the water. "In the interests of peace," however, the rab- 
bis ruled that the fish belong to the owner of the net (Git. 
5:8). Details are given with regard to the prohibition of fish- 
ing on Sabbaths and festivals including the spreading of nets 
and the regulations concerning fishing on the intermedi- 
ate days of festivals (Bezah 3:1-2; tj, Pes. 4:1, 3od; Shab. 17b; 
Yoma 84b; mk 11a). 

Fish in the Halakhah 

In Jewish tradition only fish that have scales and fins are per- 
mitted for consumption (see ^Dietary Laws). They need not 
be slaughtered ritually (*shehitah) and their blood is not pro- 
hibited. According to a belief held in talmudic times, the eat- 

ing of fish together with meat was considered harmful and 
predisposed the body to leprosy. In accordance with the rule 
that considerations of health are as important as ritual prohi- 
bitions, the rabbis consequently forbade the cooking or eat- 
ing offish together with meat (Pes. 76b). No interval before 
eating meat, however, is necessary (Sh. Ar., yd 116:2-3); it is 
enough to rinse the mouth or to chew something after eating 
fish. Fish are parve (considered to be neither meat nor milk). It 
may be consumed or cooked with milk. Fish, as a favorite dish 
for Shabbat, is mentioned in the Talmud (Shab. 118b) and by 
the Roman poet Persius Flaccus (Satires, 5, 180 ff.). The abun- 
dance offish in the Babylonian rivers and canals, making it a 
food available to the poor, maybe one possible reason. A more 
homiletical reason is found in the words "and God blessed 
them" which occur in the biblical account of the creation of 
fish on the fifth day (Gen. 1:22), as well as in the subsequent 
account of the sixth day (Gen. 1:28) and the Sabbath (Gen. 2:3). 
Fish, man, and the Sabbath are thus connected in a threefold 
blessing. Moreover, the Sabbath is said to be an anticipation 
of the messianic era which will be inaugurated by the eating 
of the legendary fish *Leviathan. Fishing from a river or pond 
is forbidden on Sabbath and on holidays; however, fish kept 
in a storage pond may be taken out (Bezah 3:1-2). Fish were 
thought to bring good luck because they are the zodiac signs 
of Adar, the month of Purim. Representations offish are wide- 
spread in the Orient as amulets, and in Eastern Europe some 
boys were called Fishl as a good omen against the evil eye (see 
Ber. 20a; cf. Jacobs blessing of his grandchildren, Gen. 48:16). 
Fish was a favorite Sabbath food for Eastern European Jews 
living in poor economic conditions. This was presumably due 
to the abundance and cheapness offish and to the special tax 
on kosher meat Jews had to pay to the government in the 18 th 
century. Cooked, smoked, or salted fish was served as the main 
dish at the Third Meal (^Se'udah Shelishit) on Saturday after- 
noon, at the farewell meal (*Melaweh Malkah) on Saturday 
night at the end of the Sabbath and at communal dinners (see 
^Se'udah and *Siyyum). (See also *Food.) 

bibliography: M. Shuvah, in: Sefer ha-Yovel ...S. Krauss 
(1937), 80-86; J. Newman, Agricultural Life of the Jews in Babylo- 
nia (1932), 136-40; Dalman, Arbeit, 6 (1939), 343"7o; et, 7 (1956), 
202-26; Eisenstein, Dinim, 8if.; Goodenough, Symbols, 5 (1956), 3-61. 
add. bibliography: D. Wiseman, in: Iraq, 14 (1952), 24-44; M. 
Douglas, in: C. Meyers (ed.)> Identity and Ideology ... (1996), 131-32; 
D. Sahrhage, Fischfang und Fischkult in Aegypten (1992); idem, Fis- 
chfang und Fischkult im alten Mesopotamien (1999); D. Sahrhage 
and J. Lundbeck, A History of Fishing (1992); E. Firmage, in: abd, 

FISHBANE, MICHAEL (1943- ), U.S. scholar of Bible and 
Midrash. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after early stud- 
ies in philosophy and Jewish thought in America and Israel 
he became a student of Nahum M. *Sarna and Nahum N. 
*Glatzer and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Brandeis 
University (1967 and 1971). He held a number of academic 
appointments in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Studies at Brandeis University (1969-90). He served as the 
Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies in the Divin- 
ity School, the Committee on Jewish Studies, and the College 
of the University of Chicago (from 1990), where he was also 
a lecturer in the Law School. 

Fishbanes initial work deals with literary and intertextual 
themes from the Hebrew Bible. In Text and Texture: Studies in 
Biblical Literature (1979), he demonstrates how biblical authors 
and redactors utilize stylistic and compositional devices in 
narratives and narrative units in speeches and prayers and in 
themes and motifs in order to convey the historical, cultural, 
and theological message of the Bible. In Biblical Interpreta- 
tion in Ancient Israel (1985) Fishbane explores the existence 
and function of diverse forms of exegesis and interpretation 
in the Bible itself (scribal, legal, theological, prophetic-oracu- 
lar). He thereby shows that not only is Hebrew Scripture the 
primary document for the exegetical tradition of Judaism 
and Christianity, but that it is an exegetical work in its own 
right. His Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003) is a 
study of myth in the Hebrew Bible and mythmaking in clas- 
sical rabbinic literature and medieval Jewish mysticism. He 
demonstrates that certain types of myth are endemic in Jew- 
ish theology and are not contradictory to aspects of mono- 
theism, diametrically opposing the contention that there was 
no myth in the rabbinic age (Ephraim E. Urbach), and that 
it is a late and foreign implant in medieval Spanish Kabbalah 
(Gershom *Scholem). 

Fishbanes point that textual interpretation explicates the 
plain-sense of primary sources in their original cultural, his- 
torical, and social settings, while also generating new values 
and explications in subsequent eras, is found in his The Gar- 
ments of Torah: Essays in Biblical Hermeneutics (1989). This 
interpretative process informing Jewish religious thought also 
illuminates his The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought 
and Theology (1998), a series of essays dealing with the role 
Scriptural exegesis plays in Jewish speculative theology as well 
as ritual practice. His The Kiss of God: Mythical and Spiritual 
Death in Judaism (1994), awarded the National Jewish Book 
Award for Jewish Thought, explores selected rabbinic, philo- 
sophic, and mystical texts on the passion for religious perfec- 
tion expressed as the love of God unto death itself, including 
acts of martyrdom and ritual replacements for actual death. 
Fishbane is also the author of the first full-length commentary 
on the Sabbath and festival Haftarot (2002). 

Fishbanes published articles and reviews in scholarly 
books and journals range from ancient biblical thought to the 
existential theology of Martin *Buber and Franz *Rosenzweig; 
and show how Jewish culture is permeated and regenerated by 
exegetical creativity. He served as editor-in-chief of the Jew- 
ish Publication Society Bible Commentary (for Prophets and 
Writings). Fishbanes life's work in tilling sacred texts and trac- 
ing subsurface traditions has led him to new explorations in 
the history of exegesis and theology and to projects involving 
cultural pedagogy and interreligious dialogue. 

[Zev Garber (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHBEIN, MORRIS (1889-1976), U.S. physician, editor, and 
author. Fishbein, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., received his 
M.D. from Rush Medical College in 1912. He edited the Journal 
of the American Medical Association from 1924 to 1949, and 
was editor and coeditor of numerous other journals. Fishbein 
built the Journal into the worlds largest medical periodical. 
He was considered the official mouthpiece of U.S. medicine. 
Fishbein also edited numerous reports, pamphlets, and books 
and wrote daily health columns for various American news- 
papers. Fishbein, in the course of his career, was also a vigor- 
ous opponent of chiropractors and medical quacks and fad- 
dists. His books include Frontiers of Medicine (1933); Modern 
Home Medical Adviser (1935); Popular Medical Encyclopaedia 
(1946); History of the American Medical Association (1947); 
Medical Writing: The Technic and the Art (1938); New Advances 
in Medicine (1956); Modern Home Remedies and How to Use 
Them (1966). From i960 Fishbein was editor of Medical World 
News, and also medical editor of Britannica Book of the Year. 
He wrote an autobiography, Morris Fishbein, M.D. (1969). 

bibliography: S.R. Kagan, Jewish Contributions to Medicine 

in America (1939), 106-8. 

[Fred Rosner] 

FISHBERG, MAURICE (1872-1934), U.S. physician and 
physical anthropologist. Born in Russia, Fishberg emigrated 
to the U.S. in 1889. He became clinical professor of medicine at 
the New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical Col- 
lege. He served as chief physician and director of the tubercu- 
losis service of the Montefiore Hospital and other institutions, 
and as medical examiner of the United Hebrew Charities of 
New York City. Fishberg became a recognized authority on 
pulmonary tuberculosis, and wrote a standard textbook on 
this subject, Pulmonary Tuberculosis (1916; 2 vols., 1932 4 ). He 
was a pioneer in the use of pneumothorax treatment for this 
disease, and helped to stimulate a campaign for the preven- 
tion of the malady by his demonstration of its high incidence 
among New York City schoolchildren. The other focus of his 
intellectual concern was the scientific study of the anthropol- 
ogy and pathology of Jews, in which field he made extensive 
investigations not only in the United States but also in Europe 
and North Africa. His various investigations culminated in the 
summary volume The Jews; A Study of Race and Environment 
(1911), in which he maintained the heterogeneity in racial com- 
position of modern Jews. As anthropological consultant to the 
Bureau of Immigration and on behalf of a U.S. Congressional 
Committee, he visited Europe in 1905 and 1907 to study as- 
pects of the immigration problem. His report was published 
by the U.S. government at the direction of President Theodore 
Roosevelt. He also served as chairman of the anthropology 
and psychology section of New York Academy of Science and 
as vice president of the Academy (1909-11). 

[Ephraim Fischoff] 

FISH EL (Fischel), wealthy family prominent in Jewish society 
in *Cracow-Kazimierz, Poland, at the close of the 15 th and first 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


half of the 16 th century; named after ephraim fishel with 
whom the family arrived in Cracow from Bohemia. He and 
his four sons had commercial dealings with the Polish nobility. 
After initial friction with earlier-established Cracow Jews, the 
Fishel family took a leading place in the community, and two 
of its members were among the signatories of an agreement 
between the community leaders and the municipal council in 
Cracow in 1485. By 1475 Ephraim Fishel senior had died and 
his extensive business had been taken over by his sons. Of 
them moses (d. c. 1504), a banker and one of the community 
leaders, mentioned first in 1477, was principally engaged in 
the lease of customs duties and other royal revenues. In 1499 
he was accused of extortion in collecting the poll tax from the 
Jews of the region of *Gniezno. In 1503, with his brother Jacob, 
Moses leased the royal customs revenues in the provinces of 
Great Poland and Masovia for an annual payment of 2,500 
Hungarian florins, 24 kg. of saffron and 120 kg. of black pep- 
per. His wife rachel (Raszka Moyzeszowa) engaged inde- 
pendently in moneylending from 1483. She was in contact with 
the courts of kings Casimir iv, John Albert, and Alexander. 
As creditor of Polish kings, she received compensation in an 
interesting way from King Alexander. In 1504 he annulled the 
crown debts due to her and her late husband and ordered the 
mint to mint coins from her silver bars; the coins were worth 
1600 florins more than the bars, being 1000 as repayment of 
principal and 600 for interest. Of their daughters, Esther mar- 
ried Jacob *Pollak, Hendel married the kabbalist Asher Lemel, 
rabbi of Kazimierz, and Sarah married David Zehner of Buda, 
at the age of 12. Another son of Ephraim, stephan (d. after 
1532), a banker, converted to Christianity with his sons Jan and 
Stanislaw (their adopted Christian names), probably after the 
expulsion of the Jews from Cracow in 1494. His Jewish wife 
and their other children did not become baptized. Stephan 
continued to engage in finance and in 1503 leased the rights 
of collection of the Jewish poll taxes of Great Poland for a pe- 
riod of four years. In 1507 he and his two sons were adopted 
by the vice chancellor Jan Laski, into whose family he married, 
and he was ennobled, taking the name Powidzki. His descen- 
dants, still known as Powidzki, owned large landed estates in 
the 18 th century. The relations between Stephan Powidzki and 
his Jewish kinsmen were strained, and on several occasions 
resulted in lawsuits. In about 1510, he befriended the notori- 
ous apostate Johannes *Pfefferkorn. 

Moses' son, ephraim fishel (late 15 th and early 16 th 
century), known as Franczek, a banker, tax and customs 
farmer, and communal leader, also engaged in many financial 
transactions with the Polish aristocracy. He was the first agent 
of Elizabeth (wife of Frederick, prince of Silesia), the sister of 
King Sigismund 1 (1506-1548). In about 1512, he was appointed 
by the king, with ^Abraham Judaeus Bohemus, as chief col- 
lector (exactor) of Jewish taxes throughout the kingdom, and 
was directly active in Little Poland and the province of "Rus- 
sia," an appointment that gave him a central role in Jewish 
communal life there. His exceptional status was strongly op- 
posed by the leaders of the communities and he had serious 

difficulties in collecting the taxes. In 1515 his failure to perform 
these offices became evident and he left Poland for a while. 
After a number of years, he returned to Cracow, and in 1524, 
with his wife Chwalka (Falka), he was appointed servus regis 
to Sigismund 1 and Queen Bona. 

The son of Ephraim (Franczek) and Chwalka, moses 
died as a martyr in 1542. He was a pupil of Jacob *Pollak and 
studied medicine at Padua. After his return to Cracow, he 
practiced medicine as his sole occupation, achieving fame and 
becoming physician to state dignitaries. In consideration of his 
competence and achievements, the king exempted him from 
the payment of Jewish taxes in 1520. That year he signed the 
herem ("ban") issued by Jacob Pollak against Abraham *Mintz. 
In 1532, on the death of Asher Lemel, Moses was appointed 
rabbi of the Polish community of Cracow (to be distinguished 
from that of the Bohemian Jews). At the end of 1541, in ac- 
cordance with the Jewish policy of King Sigismund 1, Moses 
was appointed, with *Shalom Shakhna b. Joseph of Lublin, 
as leader of the Jews (senior generalis) for Little Poland with 
authority extending over one quarter of the territory. The 
Jews, however, regarded this as an infringement of their au- 
tonomy and opposed the appointment. In 1541 Moses became 
involved in a false charge and appeared in a harsh trial con- 
cerning proselytes to Judaism. He was imprisoned and died 
soon afterward. 

bibliography: Russko-yevreyskiy arkhiv, 3 (Rus. and Lat., 
1903), nos. 26, 27, 44, 63, 64, 72, 81, 82, 83, 104, 108, 135, 147; I. Schip- 
per, Studya nad stosunkami gospodarczymi Zydow w Polsce podczas 
sredniowiecza (1911), index s.v. Fiszel, Mojzesz et al.; M. Balaban, His- 
torja Zydow Krakowie i na Kazimierzu, 1 (1931), 112-8. 

[Arthur Cygielman] 

FISHELS, ROIZL OF CRACOW (16 th century), printer/ 
publisher. In 1586 Fishels printed a book of Psalms translated 
from Hebrew into Yiddish by R. Moshe Standi; this volume 
also included her own autobiographical Yiddish poem, which 
was printed at the front of the book. In this poem, the prin- 
ciple source of information about her life, she indicates the 
date of the printing and relates part of her genealogy as the 
granddaughter of Yuda Levy, who ran a yeshivah in Ludomir 
for 50 years. She modestly describes her father, Yosef Halevi, 
as having "not a bad reputation among the lev Vim? but her 
husband, whom she calls simply R. Fishels, is only named 
twice, without any description of his activities or accomplish- 
ments. All the male relatives she mentions were already de- 
ceased in 1586. At the end of the book Fishels again gave the 
date of completion and signed her name as "Roizl the Widow, 
daughter of R. Yosef Halevi." 

Fishels offers no further personal details in her poem, 
but she does write that she "taught [the psalms] to all who 
wanted to know / Until they began to come, one and all, to 
me." This suggests that Roizl Fishels was a teacher, most likely 
of girls and women. Another line of the poem, "Here in the 
holy city of Hanover I donated [the psalms]" implies that she 
funded the printing of this Yiddish book so that it would be 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



available "in our own mother tongue." Based on the frequency 
of Hebrew words in her writing, and her allusions to biblical 
characters, it is clear that she had at least some knowledge of 
Hebrew and was educated in Bible. 

bibliography: A.B. Habermann, Nashim Ivriyyot be-Tor 

Madpisot, Mesadrot, Motziot le-Or ve-Tomekhot be-Mehabrim (1932- 

33), 8-10; M. Spiegel and D. Kremsdorf, Women Speak to God: The 

Prayers and Poems of Jewish Women (1987), 17; E. Taitz, S. Henry, 

and C. Tallan. The jps Guide to Jewish Women: 600 B.C.E.-1900 c.e. 

(2003), 136. 

[Emily Taitz (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHER, CARRIE FRANCES (1956- ), U.S. actress and au- 
thor. Born in Beverly Hills, Calif., to singer Eddie *Fisher and 
actress Debbie Reynolds and raised by her mother and shoe 
retailer Harry Karl following her parents* highly publicized 
divorce, Fischer attended the Professional Children's School 
in Los Angeles. She dropped out of Hollywood High School 
to join the Broadway musical Irene (1972) and made her film 
debut in Shampoo (1975), opposite Warren Beatty. She went 
on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama in 
London for 18 months. After an audition with George *Lucas, 
Fisher landed the leading role of Princess Leia in the block- 
buster film Star Wars (1977) as well as the next two films in 
the series, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the 
Jedi (1983). Her connection to the original cast of the comedy 
tv show Saturday Night Live led her to take a small part as 
the jilted girlfriend of John Belushi's character in The Blues 
Brothers (1980) and a role as Chevy Chases love interest in 
Under the Rainbow (1981). She appeared in smaller roles in 
such films as The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), Hannah and 
Her Sisters (1986), and When Harry Met Sally (1989). Fisher 
married singer Paul *Simon in 1983 after a seven-year rela- 
tionship, but the couple divorced 11 months later in 1984. In 
1985, Fisher nearly overdosed after wrestling with a Percodan 
addiction. At that time she entered a detox clinic and has re- 
mained drug-free since. The experience would later turn up in 
her 1987 bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge y which won 
the Los Angeles Pen Award and was adapted as a feature film 
in 1990 by director Mike *Nichols and starred Meryl Streep 
and Shirley MacLaine. Postcards was followed by the novels 
Surrender the Pink (1990), Delusions of Grandma (1994), and 
The Best Awful There Is (2004). Fisher continued to work in 
Hollywood as a script doctor and took on small parts in such 
films as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), 
Scream 3 (2000), and Charlie s Angels: Full Throttle (2003). In 
2004, Fisher launched Conversations with Carrie Fisher y a ca- 
ble tv talk show on the Oxygen network. 

[Adam Wills (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHER, DONALD (1928- ), U.S. entrepreneur, merchant. 
Fisher, a native Californian, was a real estate developer un- 
til he was 41. Then, frustrated at not finding a pair of jeans 
that fit properly, he and his wife, Doris, decided to open their 
own clothing store in San Francisco. That was the beginning 
of Gap Inc., a company that grew into the biggest specialty 

store chain in the U.S., with thousands of units in North 
America, Europe, and Japan. After earning a B.S. from the 
University of California in 1950, Fisher went into real estate 
development. He found his true calling in 1969 when, dissat- 
isfied with the jeans he purchased, he launched his own busi- 
ness. The then popular phrase "generation gap" inspired the 
company name. At first, Gap sold only Levis jeans as well as 
discounted record albums and tapes to lure younger custom- 
ers. By the mid-1970s, Gap - which then had about 200 out- 
lets - began adding private label merchandise, as did many 
other retailers. The company continued to open more stores, 
but it was apparent to Fisher that he needed someone with a 
merchants eye to make the stores more compelling. In 1983, 
he hired Millard S. *Drexler as his deputy and Gap's fortunes 
began to soar. The same year, Fisher acquired Banana Re- 
public, a chain of clothing stores specializing in safari looks. 
When that concept fell out of fashion, Banana Republic was 
restructured. In 1994, Gap launched another division, Old 
Navy, a discount chain that became an instant hit. The follow- 
ing year, Fisher stepped down as Gaps chief executive officer 
and gave the post to Drexler, whose merchandising acumen 
had propelled the company to unprecedented heights. A soft 
economy and increased competition hurt Gaps performance 
in the late 1990s and at the beginning of the new millennium, 
but a turnaround started in 2002. Fisher remained chairman 
until December 2003, relinquishing the title to his son Rob- 
ert, a former Gap executive. At the time, Gap was a 3,070-unit 
retailing giant with annual sales of some $15 billion, and the 
Fishers' initial investment of $63,000 in 1969 had made them 
billionaires several times over. Fisher was named to the Cali- 
fornia Board of Education in 2001. 

bibliography: Fortune (Aug. 1998). 

[Mort Sheinman (2 nd ed)] 

FISHER, DUDU (1951- ), Israeli singer and cantor. Fisher 
was born in Petah Tikvah. He displayed his singing prowess at 
a very early age when he would entertain his fellow yeshivah 
high school students at parties with hits from abroad with 
the original English language lyrics replaced by a text of a far 
more religion -friendly nature. He spent his military tour of 
duty as a soloist in the choir of the idf Chief Rabbinate and, 
after his release, began to work as a cantor in the Great Syna- 
gogue in Ram at Gan and Tel Aviv. He subsequently took his 
cantorial talents to South Africa and began to perform regu- 
larly for Jewish communities around the world. Alongside his 
cantorial duties, Fisher began to perform a wide range of ma- 
terial in Yiddish. The venture proved highly popular and he 
recorded his first album of Yiddish songs, Goldener Lieder - 
Die Beste Yiddische Lieder (Golden Songs - The Best Yiddish 
Songs) in 1986. The following year he competed unsuccess- 
fully for the right to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song 
Contest. Fisher's contribution to Yiddish, hasidic, and canto- 
rial music - both his recordings, such as Mammamanyo y and 
his numerous concerts around the world - were recognized 
by his award of the Shalom Aleichem Prize. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


In 1987 Fisher auditioned for the Cameri Theaters He- 
brew version of the musical Les Miserables. Despite the fact 
that the theater managers preferred a big name for the lead 
part of Jean Valjean, both the director and the producer of 
the show opted for Fisher, who was yet to become a star. The 
gamble proved successful and the show was a hit. Meanwhile, 
Fishers recording work continued unabated and, in Septem- 
ber 1988, he released two albums of hasidic and Yiddish songs. 
Fishers international career really took off in 1993 when he 
starred in the English-language version of the Broadway pro- 
duction of Les Miserables, later playing the lead role when the 
production went to London's West End, where he performed 
in the presence of the Queen of England. 

In 1989 Fisher performed in a show called Over the Rain- 
bow, which included favorites from well-known musicals such 
as Porgy and Bess, The Wizard of Oz, and Cats. He subse- 
quently released an album with material taken from the show. 
Fisher followed this with a production called Steps to Heaven 
in which he sang original and Hebrew-language versions of 
romantic hits performed in the 1960s by the likes of Paul Anka 
and Elvis Presley. Around this time Fisher cemented his lofty 
international status when he recorded an album of hits from 
musicals with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

As an observant Jew, Fisher managed to keep his lead 
role in Les Miserables despite not taking part in the Friday 
evening or Saturday performances. In 1999 Fisher solved 
that logistical problem his own way when he put on a suc- 
cessful one-man off-Broadway show, aptly entitled Never on 


[Barry Davis (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHER, EDDIE (Edwin Jack Fisher; 1928- ), U.S. singer. 
Born in Philadelphia, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, 
Fisher learned to sing in a synagogue. On tour in the Catskill 
Mountains in 1949, the young Fisher caught the attention of 
singer *Eddie Cantor. Fisher got his first wide exposure as a 
frequent guest performer on Cantors early- 19 50s tv broad- 
casts. Within a year, he was idolized throughout the country. 
He gave considerable assistance to Jewish charities. 

In 1953 Fisher was given his own 15 -minute tv show, 
Coke Time, sponsored by Coca-Cola (1953-57). Th e show 
was so popular that the soft-drink company offered him 
an unprecedented one-million-dollar contract to be their 
national spokesperson. By 1954 Fisher had become one of 
the most popular singers in America. During that period 
he was, along with Perry Como and Elvis Presley, rca Vic- 
tors top -selling pop vocalist. His many hits include "Any- 
time"; "Oh, My Papa"; "Wish You Were Here"; "I Need You 
Now"; "Dungaree Doll"; "I'm Walking Behind You"; "Heart"; 
"Games That Lovers Play"; "Somebody Like You"; "Think- 
ing of You"; "Turn Back the Hands of Time;" "Tell Me Why"; 
"I'm Yours"; "Lady of Spain"; "Count Your Blessings"; and 
"Cindy, Oh Cindy." 

In 1955 Eddie Fisher married actress Debbie Reynolds, 
but he divorced her and married Elizabeth *Taylor in 1959 after 

a highly publicized affair that damaged his career. His third 
wife was singer-actress Connie Stevens. 

In addition to his many tv guest appearances, Fisher 
performed in three movies. He had a small part in the classic 
film All about Eve (1950). In 1956 he co-starred with Debbie 
Reynolds in the romantic comedy Bundle of Joy; and in i960 
he appeared in the drama Butterfield 8 with Liz Taylor, a film 
that won her an Academy Award. 

In 1963 Fisher recorded the live album Eddie Fisher at 
the Winter Garden for his own label, Ramrod. He returned 
to rca in the mid-1960s to record the albums Games That 
Lovers Play; People Like You; and You Ain't Heard Nothin Yet. 
He did not record much during the rest of his career, but he 
continued to perform on concert stages and in nightclubs 
around America. 

Married five times, Fisher has four children, all of whom 
are in show business: Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher (with 
Debbie Reynolds); and Tricia Leigh Fisher and Joely Fisher 
(with Connie Stevens). 

Fisher has written two autobiographies, namely Eddie: 
My Life, My Loves (1981), and Been There, Done That (1999). 

bibliography: M. Greene, The Eddie Fisher Story (1978). 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHER, MAX M. (1908-2005), U.S. industrialist and com- 
munity leader. Fisher was born to Russian immigrant parents 
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Salem, Ohio. He 
attended Ohio State University on a football scholarship, but 
after an injury he worked his way through college and gradu- 
ated in 1930 with a degree in business administration. He then 
moved to Detroit, where he entered the oil business. He was 
a pioneer in the development of Michigan's oil industry and 
in the successful introduction of new oil-refining processes in 
the 1930s and 1940s. Fisher helped found the Aurora Gasoline 
Company and was chairman of the board until 1957. He also 
dealt in finance and real estate and was a board member of 
various prominent corporations. 

In 1954 he made his first visit to Israel. From then on, he 
spent much of his life raising money for the Jewish state. He 
was also credited with leading and reorganizing every major 
Jewish organization in the U.S. Fisher raised hundreds of mil- 
lions of dollars for Israel as well as for many charities, the city 
of Detroit, and the Republican Party. 

A leading figure in the Republican Party in Michigan, 
Fisher was also a member of the Republican National Com- 
mittee. Long interested in urban affairs, he was chosen chair- 
man of New Detroit, Inc., a commission drawn from the city's 
industrial and business leadership to cope with the problems 
exposed by the 1967 summer riots. Soon after President Nix- 
on's election (1968), he was appointed special presidential 
advisor on urban and community affairs. Fisher was active 
in Jewish life, serving as president of Detroit's Jewish Wel- 
fare Federation and chairman of its Allied Jewish Campaign, 
as general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal (1965-67), 
and its president (1967-71). He was chairman of the national 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



executive of the American Jewish Committee (1968-72). He 
also served as chairman of the board of governors of the Jew- 
ish Agency from 1971. During the era of the Six-Day and Yom 
Kippur wars in Israel in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he 
urged military support for Israel and discouraged imposed 
peace plans. Later, he lobbied on behalf of Russian Jews who 
wished to immigrate to Israel. 

In 1993, Ohio States business college was named the Max 
M. Fisher College of Business. Regarded as one of the premier 
management institutions in the country, the business college's 
campus was largely endowed by Fisher. 

In 1999 the board of the L.A. Pincus Fund for Jewish Ed- 
ucation in the Diaspora established the Max M. Fisher Prize 
for Jewish education in the Diaspora in honor of Fisher s 90 th 
birthday and in recognition of his role in supporting the ad- 
vancement of Jewish education around the world. Established 
in 1977, the Jerusalem-based Pincus Fund works to strengthen 
Jewish education in the Diaspora through support for new 
and innovative programs. Fisher served as the funds chair- 
man since its inception. 

In 2004 the Detroit Symphony Orchestra opened the 
Max M. Fisher Music Center performing arts complex. Fisher 
donated $10 million to the building, which is nicknamed "The 
Max." At age 96, Fisher was listed by Forbes magazine in 2004 
as the oldest member of the Forbes 400, the list of the 400 
wealthiest people in America. 

add. bibliography: P. Golden, Quiet Diplomat: A Biogra- 
phy of Max M. Fisher (1992). 

[Hillel Halkin / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 


(1905-1979), English communal worker. Samuel Fisher was 
born in London and from his youth was active both in Jew- 
ish communal affairs and in local politics. In 1953 he was 
elected mayor of the Borough of Stoke Newington, the first 
Jew to hold the office, and in 1965 of the newly created bor- 
ough of Camden. His many public offices included chairman- 
ship of the Metropolitan Water Board and of the Association 
of Labor Mayors. In the Jewish community he was one of 
the leading figures of the Jewish Friendly Society Movement, 
and in 1973-79 served as president of the Board of Deputies 
of British Jews. He was created a life peer in 1974 as Baron 
Fisher of Camden. 

Fisher was an outstanding example of the new generation 
of Jewish communal leaders, whose roots were in the East End 
of London and who rose to the pinnacle of Jewish communal 
leadership without the advantage of birth or wealth but by 
hard work and a genuine concern for their fellows. 

[Michael Wallach] 

FISHER, SIR WOOLF (1912-1975), New Zealand industrial- 
ist and philanthropist. Born in Paraparaumu, he founded with 
his brother-in-law, M. Paykel, the firm of Fishel and Paykel, 
which developed into one of the largest manufacturers of re- 
frigerators and home appliances in New Zealand. Fisher be- 

came one of the Dominions leading industrialists. In 1959 he 
was appointed by the government to lead the New Zealand 
trade mission to Australia. From i960 he headed New Zea- 
land Steel Ltd., a vast enterprise, manufacturing steel from 
iron sands. Fisher helped to found the New Zealand Out- 
ward Bound Movement for the physical and moral training 
of youth. Among his other philanthropic undertakings was 
the establishment of the Woolf Fisher Scholarship Trust en- 
abling New Zealand teachers to travel overseas. He was also a 
bloodstock breeder and owner of some of New Zealand's finest 
racehorses. Fisher was knighted in 1964 for his contributions 
to business life and philanthropy. 

add. bibliography: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 

(2003), online edition. 

[Alexander Astor] 

FISHMAN, JACOB (1878-1946), Yiddish editor and U.S. 
Zionist leader. Fishman was born in Poland and emigrated to 
the United States where he became active in pre-Herzl Zionist 
societies and later helped found the Zionist Organization of 
America. He wrote for and coedited the New York Yiddish dai- 
lies Tageblat (1893-1914) and Varhayt (1914-16), and from 1916 
made his impact on the American Jewish scene as columnist 
and managing editor of the Jewish Morning Journal. 

bibliography: Rejzen Leksikon, 3 (1929), 108 ff.; lnyl, 7 

(1968), 394-5- 

[Sol Liptzin] 

FISHMAN, JOSHUA AARON (1926- ), U.S. educator, so- 
cial psychologist, and sociolinguist. Born in Philadelphia, 
Fishman received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Co- 
lumbia University in 1953. He was professor of social sciences 
at Yeshiva University (New York) from 1966. Fishman served 
as dean of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities from 
i960 to 1966 and as Yeshiva University's vice president of aca- 
demic affairs from 1973 to 1975. He then served as the distin- 
guished university research professor emeritus of social sci- 
ences of Yeshiva University. 

An international leader in his field, Foreman did pio- 
neering research in sociolinguistics, which explores the social 
concomitants of language behavior and behavior toward 
language. Within this field, he specialized in national lan- 
guage planning and in determining the circumstances of lan- 
guage maintenance and shift, and established techniques for 
measuring and describing patterns of societal bilingualism. 
He was also an internationally recognized authority on lan- 
guage policy in developing countries. Fishmans book Lan- 
guage Loyalty in the United States (1966) is a monumental 
work on the language maintenance efforts of non-English- 
speaking immigrants. His Yiddish in America (1965) is a sig- 
nificant study describing the efforts of American Jews of East- 
ern European origin to maintain their vernacular. In 1973 
Fishman founded and became the ongoing general editor 
of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language. He 
also served as the editor of Yivo-Bleter from 1975 to 1977. He 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


was appointed a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study 
at Princeton in 1975. 

Among other books published by Fishman, the following 
have some Jewish content: Language and Nationalism (1972); 
Language in Sociocultural Change (1972); Bilingual Education 
(1976); Language Planning Processes (1977); Advances in the 
Study of Societal Multilingualism (1978); and Advances in the 
Creation and Revision of Writing Systems (1979), while Studies 
on Polish Jewry: 1919-1939 (1973) and Never Say Die: A Thou- 
sand Years of Yiddish in Jewish Life and Letters (of which he 
was editor, 1980) are entirely of Jewish content. Subsequent 
books by Fishman include Ethnicity in Action (with M. and R. 
Gertner, 1985), Readings in the Sociology of Jewish Languages 
(1985), Ideology, Society & Language: The Odyssey of Nathan 
Birnbaum (1987), The Influence of Language on Culture and 
Thought (1991), In Praise of the Beloved Language (1996), Can 
Threatened Languages Be Saved? (2001), and Reversing Lan- 
guage Shift (2001). 

Fishman was active in Yiddish cultural efforts. As a 
founding member and first chairman of the Research Plan- 
ning Committee of the *yivo Institute for Jewish Research in 
New York, he helped to develop a program for training new 
scholars in the social sciences and humanities as they relate 
to the Jewish field. 

bibliography: Who's Who in America, 34 (1966-67), 684; 
lnyl, 7 (1968), 393-4. add. bibliography: S. Herman, The Study 
of Jewish Identity Issues and Approaches (1971). 

[Leybl Kahn / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FISHMAN, WILLIAM (1921- ), British historian. Born to 
Russian immigrant parents in London's East End, Fishman left 
school at 14 to become a clerk and was involved in the ^"Bat- 
tle of Cable Street" in 1936. After World War 11 he received a 
degree from the London School of Economics and became 
probably the first British professionally trained historian of 
immigrant background to study the Jewish East End. From 
1972 Fishman was Barnett Shine Senior Research Fellow at 
Queen Mary College. His best-known work, East End Jew- 
ish Radicals, appeared in 1975, and he has also written several 
other pioneering studies of the East End working class. Fish- 
man has been very influential in broadening the traditional 
"meliorist" focus of Anglo-Jewish history from its elites to 
the inclusion of post- 1880 immigrants and of radical groups. 
A Festschrift for Fishman, Outsiders and Outcasts: Essays in 
Honour of William Fishman, edited by Geoffrey Alderman and 
Colin Holmes, appeared in 1993. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.) 

FISHMAN, WILLIAM HAROLD (1914-2001), biochem- 
ist. Fishman was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and became a 
U.S. citizen c. 1942. He graduated from the University of Sas- 
katchewan (1935) and got his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the 
University of Toronto (1939). After postdoctoral research at 
the University of Edinburgh (1940) and Cornell University 
Medical School (1941), he joined the Bowman-Gray School 

of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, followed by 
the University of Chicago (1945) and Tufts University, Bos- 
ton (1948-76), where he became professor of pathology and 
first director of the Tufts Cancer Research Center (1971). In 
1976 he and his wife and colleague Lillian Fishman founded 
the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation (now the Burnham 
Institute), where he worked for the rest of his life. Fishmans 
research concerned the relationship between normal cell de- 
velopment and cancer (oncodevelopmental biology), and 
identifying markers for diagnosing cancer. His honors in- 
cluded the annual award from the International Society for 
Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine (1994), which rec- 
ognized his pioneering role in this field. 

[Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

FITCH (Feiczewicz), LOUIS (1889-1956), Canadian Zionist. 
Born in Suceava, Bukovina, Fitch was taken to Canada in 1891 
by his parents, who settled in Quebec. He was associated with 
Samuel W Jacobs, who became a member of the Canadian 
parliament in 1917, in the Ortenberg trial. In this trial Jewish 
citizens of Quebec laid charges of libel against antisemitic agi- 
tators who had stated that the Talmud permits Jews to harm 
Christians. In 1919 he was one of the founders of the Cana- 
dian Jewish Congress, of which he was the first secretary. In 
the early 1920s he was chairman of the schools committee of 
the Montreal Jewish Community Council, which was fight- 
ing for a separate Jewish school system in Quebec; the case 
reached the Privy Council in London. He later became presi- 
dent of the Canadian ort. In 1938 he was elected to the Que- 
bec Provincial legislature, representing the Union Nationale 
Party, but was defeated the following year. Fitch published a 
number of historical works. He traveled extensively in Spain, 
North Africa, Mexico and Central America to research various 
aspects of the history of the Jews in Spanish-speaking coun- 
tries, and made a special study of the Golden Age of Hebrew 
Literature in Spain. 

Fitch remained an active Zionist throughout his life. 
He was vice president of the Zionist Organization of Canada 
from 1921 to 1940. 

FITELBERG, GRZEGORZ (Gregor; 1879-1953), conduc- 
tor and composer. Born in Dvinsk, Latvia, Fitelberg became 
conductor of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (1906-11), 
the Vienna Opera (1912-13), and, between 1914 and 1920, the 
Petrograd Musikalnya Drama Orchestra, the Moscow Bol- 
shoi, and Diaghilev Ballet orchestras. He then returned to 
the Warsaw Philharmonic and formed the Polish radios sym- 
phony orchestra. He spent World War 11 mainly in the U.S., 
and returned to the same orchestra, which he conducted until 
his death. Fitelbergs compositions include two symphonies 
(1905 and 1907), two overtures (1905 and 1906), and two or- 
chestral rhapsodies. His son, jerzy fitelberg (1903-1951), 
also a composer, was born in Warsaw and died in New York. 
He wrote mainly chamber and orchestral music in a neoclas- 
sical style, sometimes using Polish folk idioms. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



FITERMAN, CHARLES (1933- ), French politician. Born 
in Saint Etienne, France, Fiterman, a qualified electrician by 
trade, made his way to the number two position in the French 
Communist party, the second largest communist party in 
the Western world. In the first Mitterrand administration 
(1981-1984) he was one of the four communist ministers and 
was in charge of transport. Fiterman is a cool, moderate poli- 
tician who follows traditional party lines. 

His unsuccessful challenge to the leadership of the Com- 
munist party by Georges Marchais led to his exclusion from 
central positions in the party and he became one of the lead- 
ers of the "reformers" wing demanding reform and modern- 
ization of the remaining traditional communist parties in 

the world. 

[Gideon Kouts] 

FIVE SPECIES, the varieties of seed to which the halakhot 
concerning the agricultural produce of Erez Israel apply. The 
Mishnah lists the five species as hittim, sebrim, kusmin, shib- 
bolet shual, and shippon (Hal. 1:1). They are known in litera- 
ture by the generic names tevuah ("produce," "increase"; Hal. 
1:2) and dagan ("corn," i.e. grain). In the Bible, however, both 
terms have a wider meaning; tevuah denotes the "increase" of 
the threshing floor and the winepress (Num. 18:30), the vine- 
yard (Deut. 22:9), and the corn (11 Chron. 32:28); and dagan 
(often juxtaposed to "wine" and "oil") denotes the blessings of 
the earth. The term bar occurs only in the Bible, and applies 
to corn from which the chaff has been winnowed (Jer. 23:28; 
et al.). The exact definition of the five species is problemati- 
cal. Feliks maintains that three of the five are species of the 
genus Triticum ("wheat"), and identifies (1) hittim as hard and 
bread wheat (Triticum durum and vulgare); (2) kusmin as rice 
wheat (Triticum dicoccum); (3) shippon as spelt wheat (Triti- 
cum spelta); the last two are species of the genus Horedeum 
("barley"); (4) sebrim is six- and four-rowed barley (Hordeum 
sativum and vulgare); and (5) shibbolet shual is two-rowed bar- 
ley (Hordeum distichum). All five species grew in Erez Israel in 
ancient times, as was not the case with oats (the usual transla- 
tion of shibbolet shual) or rye (that of shippon). 

According to the halakhah these five species are subject 
to the laws relating to the blessings said before and after meals 
(see *Grace after Meals), to hallah (the separation of a por- 
tion of dough to the priests; Hal, 1:1), to the laws concerning 
leavened and unleavened bread on Passover (Hal. 1:2), and 
to the prohibition against harvesting or eating produce until 
the omer has been offered (Hal, 1:1). With respect to the law 
of kilayim (the prohibition on mixing heterogeneous plants 
in a field), kusmin and shippon are regarded as one species, 
and sebrim and shibbolet shual as another (Kil. 1:1). As regards 
combining different doughs to form the minimum quantity li- 
able to hallah, in which taste is the determining factor, hittim 
and kusmin are reckoned as one species (Pes. 35a). 

The Talmud records an important dispute between 
Johanan b. Nuri and the sages. The former maintained that 
rice, too, was a species of grain and, like the five species men- 

tioned above, was subject to the laws of Grace after Meals, 
hallahy and unleavened bread. He also included as liable to 
hallah, karmit (Pes, 35a), apparently a plant of the order Gra- 
mineae which grows in swamps - the Glyceria fluitans. Al- 
though Johanan b. Nuris view was not accepted as halakhah y 
there were places in Babylonia where hallah was separated 
from dough made of rice, since it was their staple food (Pes. 
5ob-5ia). However, since rice is usually sown after Passover 
and does not ripen until the end of summer, Johanan b. Nuri 
is not reported as claiming that the laws of omer apply to it, 
since this would mean that it could not be eaten until the fol- 
lowing spring. 

bibliography: et, 4 (1956), 226-9; J- Feliks, Olam ha- 
Zomeah ha-Mikrai (1957), 139-53; idem, Kilei Zera'im ve-Harka- 
vah (1967), 24-32; idem, in: Sefer ha-Shanah ... Barllan, 1 (1962/63), 
177-89; Loew, Flora, 1 (1924), 7oyff. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

°FLACCUS, AVILLIUS AULUS, prefect of Egypt 32-38 c.e. 
Until the death in 37 of Tiberius, to whom he owed his ap- 
pointment, Flaccus discharged his duties with devotion and 
ability. However, with the accession of Caligula and the con- 
sequent uncertainty of his position, his attitude toward the 
Jews of Alexandria changed for the worse. He withheld their 
expression of homage to Caligula on the latter s accession, 
permitted the mob to jeer at the Jewish king Agrippa when 
he visited Alexandria, allowed them to place idols in the lo- 
cal synagogues, and issued an edict declaring the Jews to 
be aliens. He arrested and maltreated members of the gerou- 
sia (the local community council) and ordered Jewish homes 
to be searched and any weapons found to be confiscated. 
When the Jews were attacked and many of them killed by 
the Alexandrians, Flaccus made no attempt to restrain the 
mob. Suddenly arrested, he was sent to Rome and there ban- 
ished to Andros, and later executed. Philo, who describes the 
entire episode in his In Flaccum y saw in his fate the hand of 

bibliography: Pauly-Wissowa, 4 (1896), 2392, no. 3 and 
Suppl. 1 (1903), 228f.; U. Wilcken, Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten 
und Nubien, 2 (1899), no. 1372; E. Groag and A. Stein (eds.), Proso- 
pographia Imperii Romani, 1 (i933 2 )> 29of., no. 1414; H. Box, Philonis 
Alexandrini in Flaccum (1939). 

[Lea Roth] 

°FLACCUS, VALERIUS, Latin writer of the Flavian period, 
author of the Argonautica, describing the voyage of Jason and 
his companions. Only in the proem to the Argonautica does 
he touch upon matters pertaining to the Jews. It consists of a 
laudatory address to the emperor Vespasian, in which he re- 
fers to Titus' claim to military glory, the conquest of Jerusalem. 
The conquest of Judea (which he calls Idumea) and the burn- 
ing of the Temple he describes in the words, "Thy son (i.e., 
Domitian) shall tell of the overthrow of Idumea - for well he 
can - of his brotherhood with the dust of Solyma, as he hurls 
the brands and spreads havoc in every tower." It is notewor- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


thy that unlike * Josephus, who states that the Temple was de- 
stroyed against the wishes of Titus, Valerius Flaccus extols its 
destruction (although he refers generally to Jerusalem and 
not specifically to the Temple); this suggests that Josephus* 
description is an attempt to minimize the initiative taken by 
Titus in the destruction of the Temple. There is no reason to 
assume that the proem was composed immediately after the 
destruction or even during the reign of Vespasian; the con- 
quest of Jerusalem was well remembered for many years. 
Scholars differ as to the date of the proem, some placing it in 
the reign of Titus, and others in that of Domitian. 

bibliography: J. Bernays, Ueber die Chronik des Sulpicius 
Severus (1861), 48 ff.; Syme, in: Classical Quarterly, 23 (1929), 135-7; 
V. Ussani, Studio su Valerio Flacco (1955); Smallwood, in: Mnemo- 
syne, 4 th series, 15 (1962), 170-2; Pauly-Wissowa, 2 nd series, 15 (1955), 

10, no. 170. 

[Menahem Stern] 

FLAG. There are indications that banners or emblems were 
in use among the Israelites even in biblical times (see ^Ban- 
ner). The expression Dfl'lX JVlf fifiX - "the banner (or en- 
sign) or their patriarchal house" (Num. 2:2) - appears to de- 
note the physical emblem of a tribe, a patriarchal house, or a 
family, and it was thus understood in the Midrash (Num. R, 
2:7), which gives the following description of the flags of the 
12 tribes, with proof verses where the reason is not immedi- 
ately obvious: 

There were distinguishing signs for each prince; each had a flag 
(mappah) and a different color for every flag, corresponding to 
the precious stones on the breastplate (lit. "heart") of Aaron. 
It was from these that governments learned to provide them- 
selves with flags of various colors. Each tribe had its own prince 
and its flag whose color corresponded to the color of its stone. 
Reubens stone was ruby, the color of his flag was red, and em- 
broidered thereon were mandrakes. Simeons was topaz and his 
flag was green, with the town of Shechem embroidered thereon. 
Levi s was smaragd (= emerald) and the color of his flag was a 
third white, a third black, and a third red; embroidered thereon 
were the Urim and Thummim. Judah's was a carbuncle and the 
color of his flag resembled that of the heavens; embroidered on 
it was a lion, lssachar s was a sapphire and the color of his flag 
was black like stibium; embroidered thereon were the sun and 
moon. Zebulun's was an emerald and the color of his flag was 
white, with a ship embroidered thereon. Dans was jacinth and 
the color of his flag was similar to sapphire; embroidered on it 
was a serpent. Gad's was an agate and the color of his flag was 
neither white not black but a blend of black and white; on it was 
embroidered a camp. Naphtali's was an amethyst and the color 
of his flag was like clarified wine of a not very deep red; on it 
was embroidered a hind. Asher s was a beryl and the color of 
his flag was like the precious stone with which women adorn 
themselves; embroidered thereon was an olive tree. Josephs was 
an onyx and the color of his flag was jet black; the embroidered 
design thereon for both princes, Ephraim and Manasseh, was 
Egypt because they were born there. A bullock was embroidered 
on the flag of Ephraim. A wild ox was embroidered on the flag 
of the tribe of Manasseh. Benjamins stone was a jasper and the 
color of his flag was a combination of all the twelve colors; em- 
broidered thereon was a wolf. 

The word nes, mentioned in the Prophets (Isa. 5:26; 62:10; Jer. 
4:6; Ps. 60:6), is also close to the modern "flag," standing as it 
does for a signal which may flutter in the breeze raised on a 
high place. It is also used to denote a sail (Isa. 33:23, also in the 
Mishna, bb 5a). Murals depicting Jewish ships, as found in Bet 
She'arim tombs and "Jason's tomb" in the Rehaviah quarter of 
Jerusalem, reveal that the ships bore emblems. From Targum 
Jonathan to Numbers 2:3 it becomes apparent (see Num. R. 
2:7; Midrash Aggadah (Buber ed. 79) Arugat ha-Bosem (Ur- 
bach ed.) A, 287/8) that during the time of the Targum colored 
flags, made of silk, were already known. 

The term degel used in the Bible, especially in the de- 
scription of the order in which the people of Israel pitched 
their tents and their battle array (Num. 2:1-3, 10-18, 25), was 
thought to have its present-day meaning - "flag." In fact, the 
term as employed there denotes a division of the peoples 
army. This is the sense of Akkadian diglu (from dagdlu; "to 
see," "behold,"), Aramaic degel of the fifth century B.C. e. ^El- 
ephantine papyri, and this is also the sense in which the term 
is mentioned in the Midrash (e.g., Num. R. 2:7; Song R. 6, 10); 
the Arabic word dajjala also means a very large group of men. 
Rashi (to Num. 2:2) explains degel in accordance with the ex- 
amples he saw among the military formations of his time - a 
colored symbol identifying a military unit. 

In the Dead Sea Scrolls - e.g., the "War of the Sons of 
Light with the Sons of Darkness" - the term degel is used in 
its biblical sense: an organizational unit, a battalion (ibid., 
ed. Yadin 1955, p. 274; for other attestations dch ii, 415). The 
same scroll, however, devotes two chapters (ibid., pp. 274-282, 
284), to a description of the otot rnyn Vi3 niniX ^10 ("the cus- 
tomary symbols of the entire community"), which appear to 
have been actual flags. These symbols were of considerable 
sizes, depending on the size of the unit which they served, 
and contained various inscriptions: *7K Dy ("the People of 

God"); nnifrim tonftr *oatf nfcw tnttf matfi mm tontzr Dtf 

/ * t : : •• t : • •• : • t *t ■■ : : I -: - : ■■ t : ■ 

("the name of Israel and Aaron and the names of the twelve 
tribes of Israel in the order of their birth"); *?X 03 (the pen- 
nant of God); un#n K'tttt nw (the name of the prince of the 
tribe); etc. To those who went into battle an order was issued 
"to inscribe on their symbols, as they went forth to war" fur- 
ther inscriptions, and, "when they returned from war" as vic- 
tors, to add appropriate inscriptions (see dch 11, 166). If the 
scroll is not a literary fiction but reflects reality, there is here 
a description of the important role, very similar to that of the 
modern flag, ascribed to physical symbols in the organization 
of the community. 

In the Diaspora, where there was no Jewish army or pan- 
oply of state, there was no room for flags in Jewish public life. 
In the late Middle Ages instances are known of the award of 
flags to individual Jews of communities by the secular rulers. 
In 1254 the emperor Charles iv granted a flag to the Jews of 
Prague; it was red in color and displayed the six-pronged star, 
which later became known as Shield of David. In 1592 R. Mor- 
dechai Meisel, also of Prague, was given permission to display 
in his synagogue "the flag of King David, similar to the flag in 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



the Great Synagogue." In 1648 the Jews of Prague were again 
awarded a flag - still to be found in the Prague synagogue, the 
Altneuschul - in recognition of their part in the defense of the 
city against the Swedes; the flag is red and in the middle there 
is a yellow Shield of David with a Swedish star in its center. 
When the Jews of Ofen (= Buda) in Hungary welcomed King 
Matthias Corvinus in 1460, they carried a red flag containing 
two Shields of David and two other stars. 

Jewish flags as an expression of national awakening ap- 
peared in the campaign of David *Reubeni among the Jews 
and the Christian rulers. His deportment was that of a prince 
and he used flags extensively as an expression of Jewish sov- 
ereignty. His flags were white, with the Ten Commandments 
or verses and names (according to one version, the letters of 
the word "Maccabee") embroidered on them in gold. Reu- 
beni carried a flag of this kind when he appeared with Solo- 
mon *Molcho before Charles v in Regensburg in 1532. Molcho 
also signed his letters and writings by drawing a flag above his 
name (see illustrations under ^Autographs). 

The Shield of David acquired its status as a recognized 
Jewish symbol only as late as the middle of the 17 th century. 
Official use of it was first made by the heads of the Jewish 

i^ **** *~ ****** . 

1 * 

HerzVs design for a Jewish flag, seven gold stars on a white field, sketched 
at the end of a letter to Jacob de Haas, probably 1896. The seven stars were 
intended to symbolize a seven-hour working day From J. de Haas, The- 
odor Herzl, 1927. 

communities of Prague and Vienna, spreading from these 
places all over the world. The aristocratic Jewish families of 
Rothschild and Montefiore incorporated it in their family 
arms. The early *Hibbat Zion societies used it as a national 
emblem (e.g., in their official seals), generally inscribing the 
word Ziyyon in it. 

Theodor Herzl, who was not aware of the emblems used 
by the Hibbat Zion movement, made the following entry in 
his diary (June 12, 1895): "The flag that I am thinking of- per- 
haps a white flag with seven gold stars. The white background 
stands for our new and pure life; the seven stars are the seven 
working hours: we shall enter the Promised Land in the sign 
of work." This was also the flag that he proposed in The Jew- 
ish State (1896). Under the influence of the Zionist societies 
he accepted the shield of David as the emblem of the move- 
ment, but he insisted that the six stars should be placed on 
the six angles of the shield of David, and the seventh above it. 
In this form, with the inscription "Aryeh Yehudah" (the Lion 
of Judah) in the middle, the Shield of David became the first 
emblem of the Zionist Organization. 

The combination blue and white as the colors of the Jew- 
ish flag is first mentioned in the latter part of the 19 th century. 
In his poem "Zivei Erez Yehudah" written about i860, the poet 
L.A. *Frankl declaims: 

All that is sacred will appear in these colors: 

White - as the radiance of great faith 

Blue - like the appearance of the firmament. 

The Zionist flag in its present form - two blue stripes on 
white background with a Shield of David in the center - was 
first displayed in Rishon le-Zion in 1885. This, however, was 
not known to the delegates of the First Zionist Congress, and 
it was David Wolfsohn who created the flag of Zion on the 
model of the *tallit> which, as he pointed out, was the tradi- 
tional flag of the Jewish people, adding the Shield of David. In 
1933, the 18 th Zionist Congress decided that "by long tradition, 
the blue-and-white flag is the flag of the Zionist Organization 
and the Jewish people," This was also the flag which, by a spe- 
cial order issued by Winston Churchill, became the official flag 
of the Jewish Brigade Group in World War 11. 

Flags of the State of Israel 

As soon as the State of Israel was established, the question 
of its flags and emblems arose. Public opinion was unani- 
mous in favor of proclaiming the flag of the Zionist movement 
as the state flag, but there was some apprehension lest this 
might cause problems to foreign members of the movement. 
The Provisional Council of State therefore decided only on 
flags of the navy and the merchant marine, and it was not 
until six months after the state had been proclaimed that the 
form of the national flag was officially determined; it was to 
be the flag of the Zionist movement, consisting of a white 
rectangle, with two blue stripes along its entire length and a 
Shield of David in the center made up of six stripes forming 
two equilateral triangles. In the original resolution, the color 
of the stripes and the Shield of David was described as "dark 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


sky-blue," but this was later changed to "blue" for better vis- 
ibility at sea. 

The flag of the Israel navy is a dark blue rectangle, with 
a white isosceles triangle, with the vertex in the center of the 
rectangle and the base coinciding with its inner side, and a 
blue Shield of David inside the triangle. The flag of the Mer- 
chant Marine is a blue rectangle with a white oval with a blue 
Shield of David in its center. 

The official emblem of the State, which was decided on 
in 1949, is the menorah, or candelabrum, the ancient symbol 
of the Jewish people, in the form seen in relief on the arch of 
Titus in Rome. The menorah is surrounded by olive branches, 
linked at the bottom by the inscription "Israel." The presidents 
pennant is a square blue flag, with the state emblem in silver 
inside a silver frame. In the course of time more flags and pen- 
nants have been adopted: the flag of the Customs and Excise, a 
blue rectangle, with the national flag in its upper quarter and 
the inscription frll 03tt (Customs & Excise) inside a circle in 
the lower outer quarter.; the flag of the Israel Defense Forces, 
a blue rectangle with a thin gold stripe along three of its sides 
and in the lower outer quarter the badge of the idf, consist- 
ing of a Shield of David in outline with a sword entwined 
with olive leaves inside it, and a strip bearing the inscription 
"^Xlt^ 1 ? rmn KM" (Israel Defense Army) at the bottom; the 
prime ministers pennant, a blue rectangle with the national 
flag in its upper inside quarter and the state emblem, super- 
imposed on the idf badge, in gold, in the lower outer quarter; 
the defense ministers pennant, similar to the prime ministers, 
but smaller by a quarter, and with the emblem in silver; the 
pennant of the chief of staff, the allufim (generals), the com- 
mander of the navy, the senior officer in a flotilla; the active 
service pennant, hoisted on naval vessels on active service; the 
flag of the air force; and the civil aviation pennant. 

bibliography: M. Nimza-Bi, Ha-Degel (1948); State of Israel, 
Iton Rishmi, nos. 2, 32, 50 (1948-49); idem, Sefer ha-Hukkim, no. 8 
(1949); idem, Simlei Medinat Israel (1953). add. bibliography: 
B. Levine, Numbers 1-20 (1993), 146-48 

[Michael Simon] 

FLAM, HERB (1928- ), U.S. tennis player. Born in Brook- 
lyn, New York, and raised in California, Flam started play- 
ing at the age of 10 under the tutelage of his father and won 
his first tournament at 12. He first gained attention in 1943, 
when he won the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association (uslta) Sin- 
gles Championship as a 15 year old. As a Beverly Hills High 
School junior in 1945, he captured the uslta Interscholastic 
titles in Singles and Doubles, with Hugh Stewart. The pair re- 
peated their Doubles success in 1946. Flam earned national 
prominence in 1948, when as an undergraduate at ucla, he 
entered the uslta Singles Championships unseeded and 
reached the semifinals, earning him a No. 9 U.S. ranking. He 
won the uslta Intercollegiate Singles and Doubles with Gene 
Garrett in 1950, and then reached the finals of the U.S. Singles 
championship, becoming the first Jewish tennis player ever 
to advance to those finals. Flam won the U.S. National Clay 

Court Singles that year, and teamed with Art Larsen to win 
the Clay Court Doubles crown as well. He reached the final 
eight of the Wimbledon Singles three times, and the semifi- 
nals in 1952. Flam also reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. 
Singles six times. After serving in the Navy in 1953-54, Flam 
won the 1955 U.S. Hard Court Championship, and in 1956 he 
won his second U.S. Clay Court title. He competed for the 
United States in Davis Cup matches starting in 1951, winning 
12 of 14 matches through his final appearance in 1957. He was 
ranked No. 6 in the world in 1951, No. 10 in 1952, No. 7 in 1956, 
No. 5 in 1957 by World Tennis Magazine, and No. 4 in 1957 
by the dean of British tennis writers, Lance Tingay. His U.S. 
rankings were as high as No. 2 in 1950, 1956, and 1957. Up un- 
til his time, Flam earned more world rankings than any other 

Jewish player. 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

FLANAGAN, BUD (1896-1968), British comedian. Born 
Chaim Reuben Weintrop, Flanagan teamed up with Chesney 
Allen after World War 1. "Flanagan and Allen' toured the 
world and came to prominence in 1930 in George Blacks 
"crazy" show at the London Pavilion. After World War 11 they 
were part of the "Crazy Gang," whose shows ran for many 
years at the Victoria Palace. Flanagan led the gang until it 
broke up in 1962. Most famous of Flanagan and Aliens song 
hits was "Underneath the Arches," a song of the depression 
of the 1930s. Flanagan sang the title song of the popular Brit- 
ish television series Dads Army. He wrote an autobiography, 
My Crazy Life (1962). 

add. bibliography: odnb online. 

°FLAVIUS, CLEMENS (d. 95 c.e.), son of ♦Vespasian's el- 
der brother, T. Flavius Sabinus. His sons were designated as 
successors to the childless emperor Domitian. In 95 c.e. he 
served as consul together with the emperor. Domitian, how- 
ever, formally accused Clemens and his wife do mi till a, 
herself a granddaughter of Vespasian and a niece of ♦Titus 
and Domitian, of atheism (a0£OTn,c,) which resulted in the 
execution of Clemens and the banishment of Domitilla. The 
earliest source, Dio Cassius (67:14, 1-2), expressly describes 
this heresy as a conversion to Judaism. Some scholars connect 
Flavius* conversion with the journey to Rome of R. ^Gama- 
liel and his followers while others have depicted the couple 
as Christian martyrs. 

bibliography: Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (1909), 168 n. 57; H. Vo- 
gelstein, Rome (1940), 70 ff.; H.J. Leon, Jews of Ancient Rome (i960), 
33-35, 252; E.M. Smallwood, in: Classical Philology, 51 (1956), 8; M. 
Stern, in: Zion, 29 (1964), 161-2; Alon, Toledot, 1 (1958), 74-75; G. 
Townend, in: Journal of Roman Studies, 51 (1961), 58; New Catholic 
Encyclopedia, 4 (1967), 994-5. 

[Isaiah Gafni and Uriel Rappaport] 

FLAX (Heb. mpB, pishtah, in the Bible; jritfB, pishtan, in 
talmudic literature), plant cultivated in Erez Israel. It is men- 
tioned only once in the Bible. The "stalks of flax" mentioned 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



in Joshua 2:6 are undressed flax fibers. Evidence of the cultiva- 
tion of flax in Erez Israel at the beginning of the period of the 
kingdom is to be found in the *Gezer Calendar, which men- 
tions nitfD TXV PIT, that is, "the month of the uprooting of flax," 
which is followed by "the month of the barley harvest." In the 
Bible there is frequent reference to flax products. 

The cultivation of flax played an important role in an- 
cient Egypt. The Bible states that during the plague of hail in 
Egypt, flax (which ripens early) was damaged (Ex. 9:31). Isa- 
iah (19:5-9) describes the havoc caused to the Egyptian econ- 
omy by the drying up of the Nile, the consequent withering 
of the flax, and the resulting ruin of the industries associated 
with it. Flax was, together with wool, one of the necessities of 
life (Hos. 2:7, 11), The Torah prohibited the wearing of a gar- 
ment spun of both materials (Deut, 22:11; see *Shaatnez), a 
prohibition which the Midrash (pdRE 21) connects with the 
episode of Cain and Abel, the former having brought an of- 
fering of flax seeds, the latter of wool. Some contend that the 
prohibition reflects the antagonism between the farmer and 
the shepherd. 

The Akkadian for flax is kitannu, from which are de- 
rived the biblical ketonet and the talmudic kitna. The sages 
differed on the interpretation of the phrase "garments (kot- 
not) of skins," with which Adam and Eve were clothed, one 
view being that it referred to flax "from which the [human] 
skin derives pleasure," another that it referred to wool, that 
"grows from skin" (Sot. 14a). Linen from c. 135 c.e. was dis- 
covered in Nahal Hever. 

There are many references in talmudic literature to the 
growth and cultivation of flax. The quantity of flax produced 
was apparently subject to considerable fluctuations, there hav- 
ing been times when it was necessary to import hempen gar- 
ments (Kil. 9:2), These, however, were no longer in demand 
in the amoraic period when flax was extensively grown (tj, 
Kil. 9:5, 32d), Flax was attacked by plant diseases, and pub- 
lic prayers were offered up for their riddance (tj, Taan 3:6, 
66d), but after Hiyya and his sons came from Babylonia (to 
Erez Israel), flax was free from disease (tj, Ma as. Sh. 5:8, 
56d). Flax was regarded as a crop that impoverishes the soil 
and so was planted in the same field only once every three or 
seven years (bm 9:9; Tosef., bm 9:31). It bears beautiful blue 
flowers, which are followed after a few days by pods (Num. 
R. 7:4). Although grown mainly for its fiber, it was also culti- 
vated for its seed, which was used as food and for medicinal 
purposes (bb 93a-b). 

The Mishnah and the Talmud give many details about 
flaxen products and different kinds of cloth. A garment made 
of flax was usually a popular, strong, and very cheap form of 
clothing. When R. Judah ha-Nasi 11, wearing a flaxen garment, 
came out to meet R. Johanan, he was told that it was more 
proper for a patriarch to wear clothes made of wool (t j, Sanh. 
2:8, 20c). There were, however, also fine, excellent clothes 
made of flax, a wealthy high priest having worn a flaxen gar- 
ment which cost 20,000 zuzim (t j, Yoma 3:6,4od). Although 
expensive flax material was imported (bm 29b), a high quality 

flaxen cloth was produced in Erez Israel at Beth-Shean (Gen. 
R. 20:12); that made at Arbela was of a cheaper quality [ibid. 
19:1 beginning). The flax in the Bible and in talmudic litera- 
ture was the cultivated variety, Linum usitatissimum, of which 
there are many strains, some used in the manufacture of fiber, 
others for the extraction of oil from their seeds. Flax is hardly 
grown in Israel, but the wild flax of the species Linum angus- 
tifolium, which some regard as the original of the cultivated 
flax, grows extensively. 

bibliography: Herschberg, in: Ha-Kedem, 3 (1909), 7-29 
(Hebr. section); Loew, Flora, 2 (1924), 208-16; Krauss, Tal Arch, 1 
(1910), 138-40; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikrai (1957), 279-84. 
add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Zome'ah, 130. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FLEA (Heb. V)y~\B>parosh). The flea symbolizes an insignifi- 
cant, loathsome creature (1 Sam. 24:15; 26:20). Nevertheless, 
the ancients did not refrain from calling themselves "parosh," 
and this was the name of a Judahite family that came with 
Ezra to Erez Israel from Babylonia (Ezra 2:3), as well as of a 
Moabite prince (Neh. 10:15). The common flea, Pulex irritans, 
is a parasite living on human beings and other mammals. An- 
other species is the Chenopsylla cheopsis, which attaches itself 
to rats. The flea is mentioned several times in talmudic litera- 
ture where it is stated that contrary to several insects regarded 
as formed through spontaneous generation, its propagation is 
sexual (Shab. 107b). In modern times the flea has disappeared 
almost entirely from the inhabited regions of Israel. 

bibliography: F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Hai be-Arzot ha-Mi- 

■ • 

kra> 2 (1956), 292ft .; Tristram, Nat Hist, 305. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FLECHTHEIM, ALFRED (1878-1937), German art collec- 
tor, art dealer, and publisher. Flechtheim was born in Muen- 
ster/Westphalia into a prosperous family of grain dealers. After 
leaving school, he went to Geneva and Paris to complete his 
education. While working in the family business, he already 
engaged in collecting and participated in an art exhibition 
in Duesseldorf in 1906. Flechtheim was a co-founder of the 
Duesseldorf Sonderbund in 1909, which assisted young con- 
temporary artists by offering them the possibility of exhibit- 
ing their works. Today, the fourth exhibition of the Sonder- 
bund in Cologne in 1912, which had a direct impact on the 
New York Armory Show of 1913, is considered the most im- 
portant presentation of European modern art prior to World 
War 1. In the same year, Flechtheim opened his own gallery in 
Duesseldorf. Drafted into the army in 1914, Flechtheim had to 
dispose of his gallery and parts of his collection. However, he 
reopened it in 1919 and managed to open a second gallery in 
Berlin in 1921 and a third in Frankfurt-on-the-Main in 1922. 
Flechtheim sought out the works of contemporary French art- 
ists like Georges Braque, Andre Derain, Juan Gris, Pablo Pi- 
casso, and Maurice de Vlaminck but matched them with the 
works of contemporary German artists like Wilhelm Lehm- 
bruck, Paul Klee, George Grosz, and Karl Hofer. As a dealer 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


who introduced avant-garde art in Germany, he was in close 
contact with his colleague Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in Paris, 
who was specialized mainly in the trade in Cubism, especially 
Picasso. In 1921, they joined forces and together became the 
most important art dealers and art patrons of the Weimar 
Republic. Many of his portraits, among them the famous one 
by Otto Dix (1926, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin), offer vivid 
testimony of Flechtheim's leading position in the art world. 
Flechtheim was forced to close his galleries in 1933 and took 
refuge in London, where he continued to arrange exhibitions 
of modern art until his death in 1937. 

bibliography: Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf, Alfred Flech- 
theim. Sammler, Kunsthaendler, Verleger (1987). 

[Philipp Zschommler (2 nd ed.)] 

FLECK, BELA (1958- ), U.S. banjo player, guitarist. The New 
York-born Fleck caught the banjo bug from hearing Homer 
and Jethro's theme for tv's The Beverly Hillbillies and acquired 
his first banjo at 15, although he was training as a French horn 
player at the High School of Music and Art. He spent his eve- 
nings playing with a bluegrass band, and it was in that mu- 
sical genre that he first came to prominence as part of New- 
grass Revival, a band that pioneered a fusion of bluegrass, jazz, 
rock, and country. In 1989 he joined with harmonica player/ 
keyboardist Howard Levy, bassist Victor Lemonte Wooten, 
and "synth axe drumitar" player Roy "Futureman" Wooten 
to form the Flecktones, the band he continued to lead. The 
Flecktones, whose sound owes more to their leader's enthusi- 
asm for Charlie Parker and John Coltrane than to Doc Watson 
and Bill Monroe, won numerous Grammy awards and made 
frequent national tv appearances. 

bibliography: S. Hindin, "Bela Fleck," in Down Beat Maga- 
zine archives at:; N. Torkington, "Interview with 
Bela, April 21, 1996," at: 

[George Robinson (2 nd ed.)] 

FLECKELES, ELEAZAR BEN DAVID (1754-1826), rabbi 
and author. Born in Prague, Fleckeles studied under Meir 
Fischeles (Bumsla), Moses Cohen-Rofe, and Ezekiel *Lan- 
dau, In 1779 he was appointed rabbi of Kojetin in Moravia, 
but in 1783 returned to Prague, where he served as a mem- 
ber of the bet din of Ezekiel Landau and also headed a large 
yeshivah. After Landau's death, Fleckeles was appointed Ober- 
jurist ("president") of the three-man rabbinate council which 
also included Samuel Landau, the son of Ezekiel. When the 
Frankists made their appearance in the city in 1800, Fleck- 
eles headed the opposition to them. He was denounced by 
an informer and imprisoned, and on his release he wrote a 
pamphlet of thanksgiving entitled Azkir Tehillot. Fleckeles' 
fame rests on his volume of collected sermons, Olat Hodesh 
(4 parts, Prague, 1785-1800). It contains both halakhic and ag- 
gadic themes. Part 11, Olat Zibbur. includes a sermon attack- 
ing Moses Mendelssohn's German translation of the Bible. In 
Part iv, Ahavat David, there are also included sermons against 
the Shabbateans and the Frankists. In these sermons, that re- 

flect his outstanding ability as a preacher, Fleckeles expressed 
his vigorous opposition to various reforms resulting from the 
spread of the *Haskalah movement, warning on the one hand 
against excessive pursuit of secular studies and on the other 
concurring in the study of Kabbalah, but only on the basis of 
a sound knowledge of Talmud. Of his other books the follow- 
ing are noteworthy: Teshuvah me-Ahavah, a collection of 450 
responsa (3 parts, Prague, 1809-21), in which he employed a 
new method of arranging the responsa according to the order 
of the Shulhan Arukh, and at the same time adding his own 
comments on, and supplements to, other responsa; Melekhet 
ha-Kodesh (ibid., 1812), a guide for scribes of Sifrei Torah, tefil- 
lin, and mezuzot; and Hazon la-Moed (ibid., 1824), 14 sermons 
for the month of Tishri. In the introductions to his works, he 
emphasizes the brotherhood of man and the duty of the Jews 
toward the Gentiles. In connection with the question put by 
the censor Karl Fischer, "whether there is any distinction be- 
tween an Israelite swearing to his fellow Israelite and swear- 
ing to a Gentile," Fleckeles replied "that the force of an oath is 
great, and no distinction can be made between taking an oath 
to an Israelite and to a non-Jew" (Teshuvah me-Ahavah, pt. 1, 
no. 26). He was opposed to the hairsplitting methods of pilpul 
and to "labored solutions," and emphasized that he was not 
prone to stringency in his rulings (ibid., pt. 3, no. 325), He was 
careful to make allowance for traditional customs and gave in- 
formation in his responsa about special customs that existed in 
various communities (ibid., pt. 1, no. 90; pt. 2, no. 229). 

bibliography: D. Kaufmann, in: MGW J, 37 (1893), 378-92; 

G. Klemperer, in: HJ, 13 (1951), 76-80; S.H. Lieben, in: JJLG, 10 (1912), 
1-33; Michael, Or, no. 485; J. Spitz, Zikhron Eleazar (1827); Zinberg, 
Sifrut, 5 (1959), 151, 156 f., 356. 

[Yehoshua Horowitz] 

FLEG, EDMOND (originally Flegenheimer; 1874-1963), 
French poet, playwright, and essayist, whose outstanding 
works deal with Judaism and the Jewish people. Flegs par- 
ents were prosperous and moderately observant Genevan 
Jews, but their religious compromises, together with his own 
secular studies, soon combined to weaken young Flegs Jew- 
ish allegiances. He went to live in Paris, where he became a 
theater critic and a successful playwright. His plays included 
Le Message (1904), La Bete (1910), and Le Trouble-fete (1913), 
and French versions of Goethe's Faust (1937) and Shakespeare's 
Julius Caesar (1938). He also wrote the libretti for Ernest 
Bloch's Macbeth (1910) and Georges Enesco's Oedipus (1936). 
Flegs dramatic return to Judaism, in the full sense, dates 
from the spiritual turmoil engendered by the *Dreyfus Affair 
(1894-1906), and the first three Zionist Congresses (1897-99), 
He was also impressed by the English author Israel *Zangwill, 
an early supporter of Zionism. Abandoning the path of easy 
success, he devoted himself to the study of Jewish history and 
thought, seeking reasons for the modern intellectual's remain- 
ing Jewish. His task was interrupted by World War 1, in which 
he served in the French Foreign Legion. Thereafter, through- 
out 40 years of untiring activity, Fleg presented to the French 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



reader the manifold aspects of Judaism in a style that shifts 
effortlessly from simple narrative to lyrical grandeur or bril- 
liant psychological analysis. One of the most significant works 
was his Anthologie juive des origines a nos jours (1921, 1961; The 
Jewish Anthology, 1925). This discriminating and wide-ranging 
selection of Jewish writing down the ages constitutes a valu- 
able introduction to Judaism. 

Edmond Flegs writing may be divided into three main 
categories: religious poetry, biographical works, and autobi- 
ographical and other essays on Jewish themes. He is perhaps 
best remembered for his verse cycle Ecoute Israel, a Jewish 
counterpart to Victor Hugos Legende des siecles. The cycle 
comprises Ecoute Israel (1913-21), VEternel est Notre Dieu 
(1940), VEternel est Un (1945), and Et Tu aimeras VEternel 
(1948), the titles of which were taken from Deuteronomy 6:4. 
In 1954 the four parts were collected in one volume, start- 
ing with the creation and spanning the whole of Jewish his- 
tory down to the era of the reborn Jewish State. Flegs lyrical 
themes include the Jewish people's mission, messianic yearn- 
ings, and unswerving faith in humanity despite atrocities 
and persecution. From the Midrash, which he knew mainly 
from German translations, Fleg drew material for his legend- 
ary biographies Mo'ise raconte par les Sages (1928; The Life of 
Moses, 1928) and Salomon (1930; The Life of Solomon, 1929). 
Moved by ambivalent emotions of fascination and fear stem- 
ming from his childhood, Fleg also wrote Jesus, raconte par le 
Juif Errant (1933; Jesus, Told by the Wandering Jew, 1934), us- 
ing quotations from the Hebrew Bible, talmudic literature, and 
the Gospels. Although Fleg presented a Jesus who was neither 
God nor Messiah, his sympathetic treatment of the Christian 
savior made a dubious impression on the Jewish reader. Of 
his essays, the most remarkable is probably Pourquoi je suis 
Juif (1928; Why I am a Jew, 1929), which was translated into 
English also by Victor Gollancz in 1943. A subtle and moving 
analysis of a young agnostic s spiritual progress and eventual 
return to Judaism, it also demonstrates Flegs belief that the 
French genius owes much to the inspiration of Israel. The por- 
trait of Fleg himself in Pourquoi je suis Juif may be regarded 
as a continuation of the one he painted in VEnf ant prophet e 
(1926; The Boy Prophet, 1928). This romanticized account of a 
boy estranged from Judaism and rejected by Christian society 
tells how the child glimpses through the gloom of the Church 
a Jesus who is at once victim and persecutor, and how he at 
last seeks to revive his old faith through messianic expecta- 
tion. Messianism also provided the theme of two early plays, 
La Maison du Bon Dieu (1920) and Le Juif du Pope (1925), the 
latter based on the encounter of Clement vn and Solomon 
Molcho. It continued to be a keynote of Flegs writing over the 
years, as in Ma Palestine (1932; The Land of Promise, 1933) and 
Nous de VEsperance (1949), which, together with Pourquoi je 
suis Juif, was collected in Vers le Monde qui vient (i960). In La 
Terre que Dieu habite (1953; The Land in which God Dwells, 
1955) Fleg recorded the saga of the Zionist pioneers and his 
hopes for Israels spiritual revival in the new Jewish State. His 
other works include translations of Shalom Aleichem and the 

Passover Haggadah (1925) and selections from Maimonides > 
Guide and from the Zohar. Fleg was an active member of the 
Alliance Israelite Universelle and of the French section of the 
World Jewish Congress. In Israel, a forest was dedicated in 
his honor in 1952. 

bibliography: Laurencin, in: Revue de la pensee juive, 2 (Jan. 
1950), 6-88; E. Fleg, Pages choisies (1954), introduction; Neher, in: La 
Vie juive, 45 (June 1958), 23-26. 

[Jean Poliatchek] 

FLEISCHER, CHARLES (1871-1942). U.S. rabbi. Fleischer, 
who began his career as a Reform rabbi articulating the ideal 
that American Jews could be both Americans and Jews, later 
developed a new American religion based upon the ideals of 
democracy. Born in Breslau, Germany, in 1871, Fleischer came 
to America at the age of nine. He moved to the Lower East 
Side, received his B.A. from the City College of New York in 
1888, and advanced degrees from Hebrew Union College and 
the University of Cincinnati in 1893. He served as an assistant 
rabbi in Philadelphia until 1894, when he was named rabbi of 
Temple Israel in Boston. He remained at this post until 1911, 
and the following year founded the nonsectarian Sunday 
Commons, which he led from 1912 to 1918. Fleischer moved 
to New York in 1922, where he served as a newspaper editor, 
radio commentator, writer, and lecturer. During his tenure at 
Temple Israel, Fleischer introduced Sunday services (1906), 
and shared his pulpit with Unitarians, Trinitarians, and social 
reformers. He believed that ethics should be based on reason, 
rather than the fear of God, and that Judaism should strive 
to combat social problems. He often spoke to New England's 
Jewish and non-Jewish groups about Jewish -Gentile relations. 
Throughout his career, Fleischer struggled with his Jewish and 
American identities. Early on he possessed a pluralistic vision, 
believing that American Jews could be both Jews and Ameri- 
cans at the same time. But as early as 1902, Fleischer began to 
suggest that America should move beyond religious sectari- 
anism, and that democracy itself was "potentially a universal 
spiritual principle, aye, a religion." In 1908 he advocated inter- 
marriage, and when he left Temple Israel in 1911, he declared, 
"I am henceforth beyond... sectarianism." 

True to his word, Fleischer founded the nonsectarian 
group Sunday Commons. He now argued that Jewish and 
Christian worship ran counter to universal values, and Amer- 
ican religion should be based upon the values of heroes like 
Abraham Lincoln and texts such as the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Seventeen hundred people attended his services 
in their early years, where "aspirations" became a substitute 
for prayer. 

bibliography: A. Mann, "Charles Fleischers Religion of De- 
mocracy," in: Commentary 17, no. 6 (June 1954); "Dr. Chas. Fleischer, 
Editor and Lecturer" in: New York Times (July 3, 1942), 17. 

[Michael Cohen (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEISCHER, JUDAH LOEB (Leopold, Lipot; 1886-1955), 
Hungarian scholar. Fleischer was born in Ersekujvar and 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


founded a religious elementary school in Temesvar in 1918. 
He taught there and directed it until it was closed by the 
Communist regime in 1948. He wrote scholarly articles on 
Abraham Ibn Ezra, particularly the Bible commentaries, 
which appeared from 1912 onward in Ha-Zofeh le-Hokhmat 
Yisrael, Sinai, and other journals. Among his editions of 
Abraham Ibn Ezra are Sefer ha-Tdamim (1951), Sefer ha- 
Mebrot (1933), Sefer ha-Olam (1937), and Ibn Ezra le-Sefer Sh- 
emot (1926). Some of his important works remain in manu- 

His son Ezra Fleischer (1928- ), Hebrew poet and 
scholar, was born in Temesvar (Timisoara), Transylvania. He 
was imprisoned after World War 11 by the Romanian authori- 
ties as a result of his activities on behalf of Bnei Akiva. In i960 
he immigrated to Israel, studied at the Hebrew University, be- 
came a lecturer on medieval Hebrew literature at Bar-Ilan Uni- 
versity, and then at the Hebrew University. His poem, "Massa 
Gog" ("The Burden of Gog"), written during his imprison- 
ment and published in the Israeli literary journal Moznayim 
(Nisan-Iyyar, 1959) under the pseudonym Y. Goleh, caused 
a literary sensation and won him the Israel Prize for 1959. He 
published poetry (under various pseudonyms) in the Hebrew 
press from 1956 and also two volumes, Meshalim (1957) and 
Be-Hehalek Laylah (1961). Other important works include 
Ha-Yozrot be-Hithavutam ve-Hitpathutam (1984); a study of 
Hebrew poetry in the Middle Ages, Shirat ha-Kodesh ha-Ivrit 
bi-Yemei ha-Beinayim (1975); Tefilah u-Minhagei Tefillah Erez 
Yisraeliyim bi-Tekufat ha-Genizah (1988). 

bibliography: Ben-Menahem, in: ks, 33 (1958), 227-32 (bib- 
liography of Fleischers works); Breuer, in: S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Ishim 
u-Demuyyot be-Hokhmat Yisrael (1959), 404-14; A. Cohen, Soferim 
Ivriyyim Benei Zemannenu (1964), 209-10; M. Kushnir (Shnir), Ha- 
Ne'imah ha-Ahat (1963), 228-30; ccar Journal, 11 (1963), 48-49 (ex- 
cerpt from "Massa Gog"), add. bibliography: R. Cohen, Maza 
Matmonim: Bibliografyah shel Kitvei Ezra Fleischer (2001) 

[Getzel Kressel] 

FLEISCHER, MAX (1883-1972), cartoonist and producer. 
Born in Vienna, Austria, Fleischer immigrated with his 
family to New York City at an early age, studying art at Coo- 
per Union and the Art Students League. He worked as a 
commercial artist and cartoonist, but his interest in mechan- 
ics led him to animation. With his brothers Dave and Joe, he 
founded Fleischer Studios, one of the first animation studios. 
They turned out some of the most inventive films of the pe- 

Looking to find a method to produce animation more 
efficiently and economically, the brothers invented the roto- 
scope, a device used to trace movement from live-action film. 
With Dave working as his live model, Max Fleischer inaugu- 
rated his own cartoon series, officially titled "Out of the Ink- 
weir but more popularly known as "Koko the Clown." These 
short cartoons ingeniously combined animation with live ac- 
tion, usually in the form of an on-screen Fleischer drawing 
Ko-Ko before the viewers' eyes. Another innovation of Fleisch- 

er s was the sing-along cartoon. By "following the bouncing 
ball," theater audiences sang popular tunes together as they 
read the printed lyrics on the screen. 

When the movie industry evolved from silent films to 
talking pictures, the Fleischer Studio was one of the few ani- 
mation producers to survive the transition. When "the talkies" 
were permanently established in 1929, Fleischer began releas- 
ing his cartoons through Paramount Pictures, an association 
that continued for more than a decade. 

At the end of the 1920s, the studios top artist Grim Nat- 
wick came up with a new, seductive female character, Betty 
Boop. Fleischer also created Popeye the Sailorman and other 
popular cartoon characters. In 1941, Max and Dave launched 
the expensive Superman cartoon series. However, when the 
box office did not respond well, the two split up, and their 
animation staff was taken over by Paramount. Dave went to 
work at Columbia Pictures, while Max went into the indus- 
trial cartoon field. 

During his career, Max Fleischer produced more than 
600 cartoons and held 15 patents that were used in the mo- 
tion picture industry. His feature cartoons include Gullivers 
Travels (1939) and Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941). Books by 
Fleischer are Noahs Shoes (1944), Betty Boop (1975), Betty 
Boops Hollywood Chronicles (released in 1990), and Betty Bo- 
ops Sunday Best: The Complete Color Comics, 1934-1936 (re- 
printed 1995). 

His son is film director richard Fleischer (1916- ). 

bibliography: L. Cabarga, The Fleischer Story (1976). 

[Ruth BelofT (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEISCHER, MICHAEL (1908-1998), U.S. geochemist. 
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to parents who emigrated 
from Germany, he received his B.S. in chemistry (1930) and 
Ph.D. (1933) from Yale University. From 1933 to 1936 he was 
a research associate, Department of Chemistry, Yale Univer- 
sity, Fleischer joined the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carn- 
egie Institute in Washington in 1936, and from 1939 to 1978 
was with the United States Geological Survey. From 1978 to 
1995, he was research associate, Department of Mineral Sci- 
ences, Smithsonian Institution. He was professorial lecturer 
(1957-65) at the George Washington University, assistant ed- 
itor of Chemical Abstracts from 1940, and an associate edi- 
tor of the American Mineralogist. He served as president of 
the Mineralogical Society of America, of the Geochemistry 
Commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied 
Chemistry, and as vice president of the Geological Society of 
America. In 1959 he was appointed president of the Commis- 
sion on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International 
Mineralogical Association. 

Fleischer contributed many papers to scientific journals, 
dealing with chemical and analytical mineralogy, specific min- 
erals (particularly of manganese), and the abundance of the 
individual elements in the earths crust. 

[Samuel Aaron Miller / Bracha Rager (2 nd ed.)] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



U.S. boxing historian, journalist, author, and member of the 
International Boxing Hall of Fame. Born on New York's Lower 
East Side, Fleischer first developed his love of boxing at age 
eight, when his father gave him photographs of boxers that 
were sold with cigarettes. He saw his first professional fight 
at age 11 on September 12, 1899, a bantamweight champion- 
ship fight that saw Terrible Terry McGovern knock out Pedlar 
Palmer. It was the first time a championship bout ended in a 
first-round ko, and Fleischer was hooked on the sport. Stand- 
ing only 5' 2" and weighing 122 pounds, Fleischer wanted to 
be a prizefighter himself, but he was knocked out in the first 
round of an amateur match when he was 15, and that ended 
his boxing ambitions. 

Fleischer first wrote about sports for p.s. 15 s monthly 
newspaper, and after graduating Townsend Harris High 
School, he was campus correspondent for two New York City 
newspapers while attending the City College of New York, 
where he organized with Dan *Daniel the school's first varsity 
basketball team in 1906. After graduating in 1908, Fleischer 
taught at p.s. 7, then took a commercial chemistry course at 
nyu and a forestry course at Yale, but soon realized that sports 
was his calling. He became sports editor at the New York Press, 
and continued when it merged with the Morning Sun in 1914. 
Fleischer proceeded to become sports editor at the Morning 
Herald> the Mail-Telegram, and the Evening Telegraph, but in 
1929 he decided instead to devote himself entirely to a boxing 
magazine, The Ring, which he had co-founded with three as- 
sociates in February 1922. It became the most influential pub- 
lication in boxing history, earning Fleischer the moniker "Mr. 
Boxing." He refereed and judged more than 1,000 fights, estab- 
lished the Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum, initiated boxing's 
rating system, encouraged television coverage to maintain the 
public's interest, and helped establish boxing commissions 
around the world. Fleischer was the world's leading ring his- 
torian and the most prolific boxing writer of all time, publish- 
ing more than 60 books - an estimated 40 million words - in- 
cluding his autobiography, Fifty Years at Ringside (1958). His 
best-known work was the annual Ring Record Book and Box- 
ing Encyclopedia, first published in 1941, which was considered 
the sports' authoritative source book. Fleischer was elected to 
the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEISCHER, TSIPPI (Tsipporah Dolgopolsky; 1946- ), 
Israeli composer and music education specialist, one of the 
Israeli women composers well known outside the country 

Fleischer earned multiple bachelor's degrees (ranging 
from music theory to Arabic language, literature, and his- 
tory), an M.A. in music education (nyu, 1975), and a Ph.D. 
in musicology (Bar-Ilan University, 1995). Initially interested 
in popular Israeli songs, especially the Hebrew canonic folk 
songs by composers such as Alexander *Argov, Moshe *Wilen- 
sky, and Naomi *Shemer, by the early 2000s, she had become 
an established composer of Western music (or, some would 

argue, composer of her unique version of World music) with 
a distinguished Middle-Eastern quality. She also revisited her 
research into the history of Israeli song in the past 120 years. 
From the late 1960s she taught at the Lewinsky Teachers Col- 
lege. Her book for music teachers, Harmonization of Songs 
(Hebrew), appeared in 2005. 

From the 1980s she was committed to the ideology of 
Israeli style, first established by the founders of Israeli art mu- 
sic such as Paul *Ben-Haim and Mordecai *Seter. A perspec- 
tive best conceptualized by Alexander *Boskovich, who held 
that an Israeli style can evolve only through the synthesis of 
ethnic local traits of Jewish and Arab music with techniques 
of Western classical music. In a 1986 interview she argued that 
her music is equally balanced between these traditions: not 
swaying toward the Western, with the Middle-Eastern source 
only an exotic flavor; nor toward the Eastern sources, when a 
work might not be fully artistic in Western terms. 

Fleischer is a prolific composer. Her list of works includes 
her often-performed song-set Girl-Butterfly-Girl (1977, re- 
vised several times until the early 2000s); the cantata Like Two 
Branches (1989); the Oratorio 1492-1992; the collection Eth- 
nic Silhouettes that includes four multimedia plays (1993-95, 
in Biblical Hebrew, Ugaritic, Old Babylonian, and Coptic); 
a collection of original miniatures; five short symphonies 
(1995-2004, illustrative symphonic poems and an ethnic col- 
lage); and two chamber operas, Medea (1995) and Cain & Abel 
(2002). Her music is inspired by the improvisatory quality of 
Arab oral traditions in music, and some of her melodies, both 
Arabic and Israeli, are compelling, as in her short toccata for 
strings, Strings - Bow and Arrow (1995). 

Fleischer's works, especially of the 1980s and 1990s, syn- 
thesizing Arabic and Hebrew texts and musical modes with 
Western classical instrumentation, earned her a unique name 
as an established Middle-Eastern woman composer. Indeed, 
most of her earlier works reflected a local-regional, non-re- 
ligious identity, smoothly mixing Mizrahi-Jewish and Arab 
elements, with a marked preference to the surrounding Arab 
character. She is perhaps the only Western woman composer 
in the Middle East whose music appeared on some sixteen 
commercial cds, international Israeli. 

In 2004, she wrote for the first time an explicitly Jew- 
ish work: the Fifth Symphony: Israeli- Jewish Collage for tape 
and accompanying orchestra, based on some of the most ob- 
vious Jewish identity markers - the shofar calls and the Kol 
Nidrei prayer. 

bibliography: Robert Fleischer, Twenty Israeli Composers, 
Detroit: Wayne, 1997, p. 208-16. 

[Ronit Seter] 

FLEISCHMANN, GISI (1897-1944), Zionist women's leader 
in Bratislava who played a prominent part in rescue operations 
during the Holocaust. At the outbreak of World War 11, she was 
in London and returned home to be with her family, which 
included a husband and two daughters as well as an ailing 
mother. She sent her two daughters to Palestine, but she herself 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


remained in Bratislava, perhaps primarily for personal reasons 
and involved herself intensely in efforts to help the community. 
First she acted within the Ustredna Zidov (Jewish Council) as 
chief of the *Hicem department for emigration. In the summer 
of 1942 she became the guiding spirit of the "Working Group" 
a secret rescue organization for Jews that included herself and 
an ultra- Orthodox rabbi, Michael Weissmandel, who was re- 
lated to her as a second cousin by marriage. It was rare, per- 
haps unprecedented, for an ultra- Orthodox rabbi and a woman 
Zionist to cooperate fully, and even more rare for the Zionist 
woman to assume the primarily leadership role. As a member 
of the Slovak Central Refugee Committee, she cooperated, al- 
beit not without considerable tension, with Joseph Blum of the 
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, who later left 
for Hungary, and Fleischmann then became for all intents and 
purposes the Joints person in Bratislava. 

Fleischmann maintained a secret correspondence written 
in code with Jewish organizations in the free world, mainly 
with the He-Halutz center at Geneva and with representatives 
of the ^Jewish Agency in Istanbul. She reported on the con- 
dition of European Jewry under German occupation and she 
also traveled to Hungary to collect funds for rescue activities 
from the Hungarian Jewish communities. It was under her 
leadership though at Rabbi Weissmandels initiative that a plan 
was devised to bribe Eichmanns representative in Slovakia, 
Dieter Wisliceny, to halt the deportation of the Jews. When an 
initial bribe and the promise of more funds to come seemed to 
work and the deportations of Slovakian Jewry were halted for 
a time, the working group devised a bold scheme, the *Europa 
Plan, to rescue the remaining Jews. Historians now know that 
is was not the bribe to Nazi officials but to Slovakian officials 
that halted the deportations and the chances of any success for 
the Europa plan were far-fetched. In 1943 she directed rescue 
operations of survivors of Polish ghettos, including groups of 
orphans, across the Polish-Slovak-Hungarian borders. In the 
spring of 1944 she conveyed the first eyewitness testimony on 
the death camps when the Auschwitz report was compiled by 
two men, Rudolf Vr'ba and Alfred Wetzler, who had escaped 
from Auschwitz on April 7, 1944, and reconfirmed by two 
later escapees, Arnost Rosin and Czeslaw Mordowicz, who 
reached Slovkia in June 1944. During the mass deportations 
in the autumn of 1944, she was arrested by the Germans and 
sent to Auschwitz with a special instruction, RU-Rueckkehr 
unerwuenscht ("return undesirable"), and on arrival in Aus- 
chwitz she was immediately killed. Fleishmann was described 
as a woman of organizational talent, intellectual ability, emo- 
tional involvement, and political savvy. 

bibliography: L. Rothkirchen, Hurban Yahadut Slovakyah 
(1961), index, includes Eng. summary; O.J. Neumann, Be-Zel ha-Ma- 
vet (1958), passim; idem, Gisi Fleischmann (Eng., 1970); M.D. Weiss- 
mandel, Min ha-Mezar (i960), passim; N. Levin, The Holocaust (1968), 
index, add. bibliography: J. Chapion, In the Lions Mouth: Gisi 
Fleishmann and the Jewish Fight for Survival, (1987); Y. Bauer, Rethink- 
ing the Holocaust (2001), 1678-5; idem, Jews for Sale (1994). 

[Livia Rothkirchen / Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEISCHMANN, JULIUS (1872-1925), U.S. businessman 
and politician. Fleischmann was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
where his father, Charles Fleischmann, an immigrant from 
Hungary, had established a large concern for the manufacture 
of compressed yeast cakes. Fleischmann entered his fathers 
business soon after leaving school. 

Upon his fathers death in 1897, he and his brother took 
over the business, which he ran by himself from 1905 on. 
Fleischmanns activity in local Republican politics led to his 
nomination for mayor in 1900. He was elected to the office 
and reelected in 1902. Though he declined to run for a third 
term, he served as Cincinnati's commissioner of parks dur- 
ing 1905-12, also attending several national Republican con- 
ventions as an Ohio delegate. An avid sportsman and breeder 
of horses, Fleischmann collapsed and died while playing in a 
polo game, leaving a large fortune. His financial speculations 
were so large that the stock market in Chicago suffered a sharp 
decline upon news of his sudden death. 

FLEISHER, Philadelphia family originating in Memelsdorf, 
Germany. Members of this family and the related Liveright 
family arrived in the United States in the 1830s, and ulti- 
mately established prosperous yarn and clothing manufac- 
turing businesses. Many descendants of benjamin wolf 

FLEISHER (1810-1845) and HANNAH TUCHNOR (1810-1903), 

who settled in Meadville, Pennsylvania, before moving on 
to Philadelphia, became leaders in Philadelphia Jewish and 
general affairs. Their sons simon b. (1840-1919) and moyer 
(1842-1924) were partners in a yarn business in Philadelphia. 
They were both active in the Hebrew Education Society, and 
Moyer succeeded Moses A. Dropsie as its president in 1892. 
A son of Simon, benjamin wilfred (1870-1946), achieved 
distinction in Japan where he spent 40 years, becoming dean 
of American journalists there before the outbreak of World 
War 11. samuel stuart (1871-1944), brother of Benjamin 
Wilfred, was the founder and sole supporter, beginning in 
1899, of the Graphic Sketch Club. Willed to the Philadelphia 
Museum of Art, the club nurtured the artistic talents of more 
than 40,000 young people. In 1923 Samuel became the first 
Jewish recipient of the prestigious Edward Bok Philadelphia 
Award, edwin adler (1877-1959), another brother, founded 
the Symphony Club of Philadelphia in 1909 and created a 
world-famed collection of music. The collection, eventually 
numbering over 11,000 pieces, was donated to the Free Li- 
brary of Philadelphia, of which Edwin was a trustee. He had 
bought a large proportion of the scores on trips to Europe in 
which he scoured publishers > warehouses for long- neglected 
compositions. The Philadelphia Orchestra and the city's music 
academies have frequently used the collection. Samuel and Ed- 
win, both members of Reform Congregation Knesseth Israel, 
were generous contributors to Jewish philanthropies, as was 
their cousin, Alfred w. (1878-1928), prominent Philadel- 
phia realtor. A partner in the firm of Mastbaum Brothers and 
Fleisher, Alfred was at least once the largest individual con- 
tributor to the Federation of Jewish Charities campaign. He 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



was best known for his leadership in the field of progressive 
penology. For five years, beginning in 1923, he was president 
of the Board of Trustees of Eastern State Penitentiary and per- 
sonally guided the construction of the prison at Gratersford. 
Edwins nephew, stuart f. louchheim, carried on the fam- 
ily tradition as president of the Academy of Music, which he 
rescued from potential bankruptcy and demolition. Louch- 
heim was not a practicing Jew. 

bibliography: H.S. Morais, Jews of Philadelphia (1894), 
263-6; M. Stern, Americans of Jewish Descent (i960), 52-53; Bess, in: 
Saturday Evening Post (Feb. 6, 1943), 22 ft .; Woolf, in: New York Times 
Magazine (April 4, 1937), 12 fT. 

[Bertram Wallace Korn] 

FLEISHER, LARRY (1930-1989), head of the nba players 
union from 1962 to 1988, member of nba Hall of Fame. Born 
in the Bronx, New York, Fleisher graduated from DeWitt Clin- 
ton High School in 1946, New York University in 1950, and 
Harvard Law School in 1953, before serving in the U.S. Army 
from 1953 to 1955. His work as head of the nba Players Asso- 
ciation paved the way for pensions, minimum salaries, sever- 
ance pay, and disability payments, among other benefits, and 
increased average yearly players salary from $9,400 in 1967 
to $600,000, without a strike. Fleisher was involved in the 
eventual merger of the aba with the nba, and was instrumen- 
tal in developing the free agent system in 1976, known as the 
"Oscar Robertson Settlement" and allowing players to move 
more freely from team to team. In addition, he helped estab- 
lish an Anti-Drug Agreement in 1983, the first such policy in 
pro sports, which provided for counseling and severe pen- 
alties for players involved in the use of hard drugs. Fleisher 
also negotiated the agreement that established the nba sal- 
ary cap system. 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEISHER, LEON (1928- ), U.S. pianist and conductor. 
Fleisher was born in San Francisco to Russian parents. He gave 
his first public recital at the age of six. From 1938 until 1948 
he studied with Arthur *Schnabel in Italy and in New York. 
He made his New York debut at the age of 16, with Monte ux, 
who also taught him conducting. Fleisher was the first Ameri- 
can to win a major piano competition - the Queen Elisabeth 
International in Brussels (1952); he made several European 
tours and played highly successful recitals in South America. 
He gave the first performance of Leon Kirchner s Second Pi- 
ano Concerto (1963), performed many modern works, and 
made numerous recordings. At his peak his playing com- 
bined intellectual power, warmth of feeling, grace, taste, and 
sensuous beauty. 

In 1964 Fleisher began to suffer from cramps in the right 
hand, as a result of which he became incapable of regular play- 
ing. He began to conduct and to play the piano repertory for 
the left hand. Fleisher became conductor of the Annapolis 
Symphony Orchestra (1970), was associate conductor of the 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (1973-77), and made guest 

conducting appearances with major U.S. orchestras. In 1982, 
after surgery and many treatments, Fleisher returned gradu- 
ally to the standard piano literature. He was appointed artistic 
director of the Tanglewood Music Center (1985-97), where in 
1994 he gave the premiere of *Foss's Piano Concerto for left 
hand. From 1959 he was professor of piano at the Peabody 
Conservatory, Baltimore, where he later held the Andrew W. 
Mellon Chair in piano; he was also a visiting professor at the 
Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. 

bibliography: Grove online; mgg 2 ; Baker s Biographical Dic- 
tionary (1997); D. Robert, in: Clavier, 38/8 (1999), 20-27. 

[Max Loppert / Naama Ramot (2 nd ed.) 

FLESCH, family widely distributed throughout Central Eu- 
rope. It originated in Frankfurt where a house named "Zur 
Flasche" ("The Flask") was built by Jacob of Prague in 1530. His 
son, aki va ben jacob frankfurter (d. 1597), was a liturgi- 
cal poet, and rabbi and preacher of the Frankfurt community. 
Another son, Abraham von schlesingen, with his sons, 
continued to live in the "Zur Flasche" house. Later descen- 
dants were merchants, hazzanim, and teachers in Frankfurt; 
they were also named Birnbaum and Flesch-Birnbaum. 

A grandson of Akiva, the scholar Abraham flesch 
(c. 1560-1640), was the first to bear the name in Austria, set- 
tling in Vienna in 1620. His descendants were scattered after 
the 1670 expulsion from Vienna. 

mordecai (gumpel) flesch settled in Neu Rauss- 
nitz (Rousinov), Moravia, after 1670. One of his descendants, 
Philip (solomon) flesch (1780-1852), founded a tannery 
in Brno (Bruenn). The descendants of Philips 16 children 
were active in commerce and the professions; some settled 
in Brno. One of them, adolph (1813-1879), continued the 
leather business and made it highly successful. Mordecais 
great-grandson, Abraham (1755-1828), was rabbi in Rauss- 
nitz, Moravia, and studied under Ezekiel *Landau. Abrahams 
son, Joseph (1781-1841), a merchant in Neu Raussnitz, was a 
pupil of Baruch Jeiteles, and among those who spread Haska- 
lah into Moravia. He translated several of Philos works into 
Hebrew and published exegetical and philological notes to 
Scripture (in Bikkurei ha-Ittim, 7, 9, and 11). He also provided 
the edition of the Bible published by M. *Landau with a list 
of Jewish exegetes and philologists, including modern schol- 
ars. Another member of the family was heinrich flesch 
(1875-1942), historian of Moravian Jewry. A native of Mat- 
te rsdorf (now Mattersburg, in Burgenland, Austria), he was 
rabbi of Dolni Kounice, Moravia, from 1894 until his death. 
After World War 1 he was in charge also of the communities 
of Ivancice and Moravsky Krumlov. He published many ar- 
ticles on Moravian Jewry both in the local Jewish press and 
in learned journals, also editing the takkanot and records of 
several communities. He was a coeditor of Hugo ^Gold's books 
on the communities of Moravia (1929), of Bratislava (1932), 
and Bohemia (1934). His archives are preserved in the Jewish 
State Museum in Prague. He also wrote a family history Die 
Familie Flesch (1914). His son Joseph had a Jewish bookstore 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


and publishing house in Prague (the only one opened after 
1918). Joseph perished in Auschwitz. 

bibliography: L. Loew, Gesammelte Schriften, 2 (1890), 

FLESCH, CARL (1873-1944), violinist and teacher. Born 
in Moson, Hungary, Flesch studied in Vienna and Paris and 
made his debut in Vienna in 1895. After teaching at the conser- 
vatories of Bucharest (1897-1902) and Amsterdam (1903-08), 
he settled in Berlin, where his renown as a violin pedagogue 
came to equal his status as a virtuoso. From 1924 to 1928 he 
taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and in 1933 left 
Germany, ultimately settling in Lucerne, Switzerland. He 
wrote the pedagogical works Urstudien (1910) and Die Kunst 
des Violinspiels (2 vols., 1923, 1928; Eng. trans. 1930 as well as 
translations into many other languages), and edited Kreutzer s 
and Paganinis etudes, the major violin concertos, and Mo- 
zart s violin sonatas (with Arthur *Schnabel). His memoirs 
were published posthumously by his son Carl Flesch, Jr. (Eng., 
1957; Ger., i960). 

FLESH (Heb. "Ittfl, basar), a word used both in the Bible and 
Talmud for mortal man and for the flesh of animals (for the 
latter aspect, see *Meat). Eve is called by Adam "bone of my 
bones and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. 2:23), i.e., "my close relative" 
(cf. Gen. 29:4). In Genesis 6:3: The basar of humans is con- 
trasted with ruah of God, which animates them. "My breath 
shall not abide (?) in the human forever, for that he is also 
flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years." 
Whereas God's breath is eternal, flesh is mortal. At death the 
flesh returns to the dust whence it came while the eternal 
breath returns to God (Gen 2:7; Eccl.. 12:7.) In Psalms 84:3 - 
"my heart and my flesh sing for joy unto the living God" - it 
designates the whole physical part of man. In Isaiah 66:16 "all 
flesh" is used as a synonym for mankind as a whole, while in 
the Alenu prayer "the sons of flesh" is used with the same con- 
notation. In Talmud and Midrash the more comprehensive 
phrase basar va-dam ("flesh and blood") is used, largely to 
indicate the mortality of man as against the eternity of God, 
particularly in the contrast between the frailty and ephemer- 
ality of a mortal king compared with the "supreme King of 
kings, the Holy One blessed be He." 

The corruptibility of flesh in the grave is constantly 
referred to. "The more flesh, the more worms" (Avot 2:7); 
"Know ... whither thou art going, to a place of dust, worms 
and maggot" (ibid. 3:1); and the word basar is regarded as an 
acronym of bushah ("shame"), seruhah ("putrefaction") or 
shebl ("the grave"), and rimmah ("worm"; Sot. 5a). At the same 
time, it is regarded metaphorically as the symbol of softness 
and pliancy in contrast with the hardness of bone (ibid.). 

[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz / S. David Sperling (2 nd ed.)] 

FLEXNER, U.S. family, simon flexner (1863-1946), U.S. 
physician and medical scientist, was born in Louisville, Ken., 
son of Morris Flexner, a Bohemian immigrant. He was the 

author of more than 350 scientific papers and monographs 
and joint author with his son, James Thomas Flexner, of the 
biography William Henry Welch and the Heroic Age of Ameri- 
can Medicine (1941). 

Bernard flexner (1865-1945) U.S. lawyer and Zionist 
leader, was born in Louisville, Ken., brother of Simon. After 
receiving a law degree from the University of Louisville (1898) 
and doing postgraduate work at the University of Virginia, he 
practiced law in Kentucky, later moving to Chicago (1911) and 
then to New York (1919). Throughout his career Flexner was 
much concerned with social welfare and labor problems. He 
was chairman of the Juvenile Court Board in Louisville and 
helped establish the first juvenile court in Chicago. Active in 
the National Probation Association, he served as president 
(1912-13) and as a committee member until his death. As a 
member of an American Red Cross mission to Romania in 
1917, Flexner became convinced that Zionism was the solution 
to the problems of European Jewry. He entered actively into 
the U.S. Zionist movement and was counsel to the Zionist del- 
egation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. When the *Pal- 
estine Economic Corporation was organized in 1925, Flexner 
became its first president, later serving as chairman of the 
board until 1944. He was also associated with many institu- 
tions, banks, and companies fostering the growth of the Jewish 
economy in Palestine. Among his other activities were mem- 
bership on the executive committees of the American Jewish 
Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Pal- 
estine. Flexner was joint author of Juvenile Courts and Proba- 
tion (1914) and Legal Aspects of the Juvenile Court (1922). 

Abraham *flexner, U.S. educator, was a brother of 
Simon and Bernard. Washington flexner (1896-1942), 
U.S. printer, was born in Louisville, Ken., brother of Simon, 
Bernard, and Abraham. In 1915 Washington Flexner organized 
the Lincoln Printing Company in Chicago, which became the 
largest financial printing company in the United States. Jen- 
nie maas flexner (1882-1944), U.S. librarian, was born 
in Louisville, Ken., daughter of Jacob Flexner. One of the 
pioneers of modern American librarianship, Jennie Flexner 
served as readers adviser at the New York Public Library, and 
was author of Circulation Work in Public Libraries (1927) and 
Making Books Work, a Guide to the Use of Libraries (1943). 

JAMES THOMAS FLEXNER (1908-2OO3), U.S. author, SOn of 

Simon Flexner. James Thomas Flexner was the author of ap- 
proximately 30 popular works on American art and civiliza- 
tion, including: Doctors on Horseback: Pioneers of American 
Medicine (1937), Americas Old Masters (1939), Short History 
of American Painting (19 50) , and American Painting: The Light 
of the Distant Skies (1954). He also wrote a highly acclaimed 
four-volume biography of George Washington. (1965-72). His 
autobiography, Mavericks Progress, appeared in 1996. 

bibliography: simon flexner: New York Times (May 3, 
1946); S.R. Kagan, Jewish Contributions to Medicine in America (1934), 
294-7; Rous, in: Science, 107 (1948), 611-3; idem, in: Royal Society of 
London, Obituary Notices of Fellows, 18 (1949), 409-45. Bernard 
flexner: New York Times (May 4 and 7, 1945); National Cyclopedia 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



of American Biography, 34 (1948), 517-8; james thomas flexner: 
Who's Who in America (1968-69), 746. Washington flexner: Na- 
tional Cyclopedia of American Biography, 34 (1948), 265-66. jennie 
maas flexner: New York Times (Nov. 18, 1944). 

[Morton Rosenstock] 

FLEXNER, ABRAHAM (1866-1959), U.S. scholar, and one 
of Americas most creative educators. Flexner, who was born 
in Louisville, Kentucky, studied classics at Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity, and graduated in 1886. After teaching Latin and Greek 
at the Louisville High School (1886-90), he founded a unique 
college preparatory school which dispensed with rules, ex- 
aminations, records, and reports. In 1905 he turned from the 
successful operation of his school to continue his studies at 
Harvard in psychology, philosophy, and science, with special 
reference to their bearing upon educational problems. During 
1905-06, he studied the anatomy of the brain at the Rockefeller 
Institute for Medical Research, New York. He spent 1906-07 
studying psychology and philosophy at the University of Ber- 
lin, where he came under the influence of Friedrich Paulsen, 
philosopher, pedagogue, and historian of German higher edu- 
cation. His review of higher education, The American College, 
published in 1908, attracted the attention of President Henry 
S. Pritchett of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement 
of Teaching, who commissioned Flexner to survey medical 
schools in the United States. The subsequent report, published 
in 1910 as Medical Education in the United States and Canada, 
was a critical analysis of 154 medical schools, seven of them 
Canadian. Although not a physician, Flexner was able to bring 
about a fundamental reform in all aspects of medical educa- 
tion in the United States. This was followed by an analysis of 
European medical schools during 1910-11 and the publication 
of Medical Education in Europe (1912). Another important 
study was Prostitution in Europe (1914). As a staff member and 
secretary of the General Education Board, 1912-28, Flexner 
undertook various educational inquiries and published, with 
F.P. Bachman as collaborator, Public Education in Maryland 
(1916) and The Gary Schools (1918). His A Modern College 
(1923) contained influential educational ideas and suggestions 
for the reform of secondary and higher education. His Univer- 
sities: American, English, German (1930) was a severe criticism 
of functionalism in American higher institutions. His last ma- 
jor achievement was the founding, organization, and direction 
(1930-39) of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His 
other writings include: Do Americans Really Value Education? 
(1927); Henry S. Pritchett: A Biography (1943); Daniel Coit Gil- 
man, Creator of the American Type of University (1946); and 
Funds and Foundations (1952). His autobiography, I Rem em her 
(1940), was revised, updated, and posthumously published as 
Abraham Flexner: An Autobiography (i960). 

bibliography: F. Parker, in: Journal of Medical Education, 
36 (1961), 709-14; idem, in: History of Education Quarterly, 2 (1962), 
199-209; Strauss, in: Journal of the American Medical Association, 173 
(i960), 1413-16; New York Times, Sept. 22, 1959. 

[William W. Brickman] 

FLOGGING, punishment by beating or whipping. This at 
all times has been the instinctive way to inflict disciplinary 
^punishment: a parent "disciplines" his son by beating him (cf. 
Deut. 8:5; 21:18; Prov. 19:18; 23:13-14; 29:17) as does a master his 
slave (Ex. 21:20,26). More than any other punishment, flogging 
is a means of correction rather than retribution, and, being a 
substitute for the capital punishment which, in the rabbinic 
view, every violator of God's word properly deserves, it reflects 
Gods infinite mercy (cf. Sanh. 10a, Rashi ibid.). 

In Biblical Law 

It appears that, where no other punishment was expressly pre- 
scribed, flogging was in biblical law the standard punishment 
for all offenses (Deut. 25:2). The exegetical difficulties which 
arose in view of the preceding verse (25:1) gave rise to such 
restrictive interpretations as that the law of flogging applied 
only in limited cases of assault (Ibn Ezra, ibid.) or perjury (cf. 
Mak. 2b); but there need not necessarily be any connection 
between the two verses - the former being construed as a self- 
contained exhortation to do justice in civil cases as well as in 
cases of mutual criminal accusations (cf. Mid. Tan. to 25:1). 
It is noteworthy that flogging is the only punishment men- 
tioned in the Bible as a general rule, and not in relation to any 
particular offense (but cf. Deut. 21:22 regarding postmortem 
hangings; see also ^Capital Punishment), the only exception 
being the flogging prescribed, in addition to a *fine, for the 
slanderer of a virgin (Deut. 22:18). 

The maximum number of strokes to be administered 
in any one case is 40 (Deut. 25:3), "lest being flogged further, 
to excess, your brother is degraded before your eyes" (ibid.). 
While this number was later understood as the standard, 
fixed number of strokes to be administered in each case (less 
one), there is no valid reason to assume that it was not in fact 
intended and regarded as a maximum limit - the preceding 
words, "as his guilt warrants" (25:2) indicating that the num- 
ber of strokes was to be determined in each individual case 
according to the gravity of the offense, provided only they did 
not exceed the prescribed maximum. The scriptural intention 
to prevent any "degradation" of the human person is served 
by the fact that no discretion was allowed to the judges, who 
may tend to harshness or cruelty (Ibn Ezra, ibid.). There is no 
record of the manner in which floggings were administered in 
biblical times. Various instruments of beating are mentioned 
in the Bible (Judg. 8:7, 16; Prov. 10:13; 26:3; 1 Kings 12:11, 14; et 
al.), but any conclusion that they (or any of them) were the 
instruments used injudicial floggings is unwarranted. 

In Talmudic Law 

Talmudic law not only made detailed provision for the man- 
ner in which floggings were to be carried out, but also altered 
the concept of the biblical punishment; the maximum of 40 
lashes was reduced to 39 (Mak. 22a), so as to avoid the dan- 
ger of exceeding 40 even by mistake; and the offenses which 
carried the punishment of flogging were exactly defined, de- 
priving it of its character as a residuary and omnibus punish- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


ment. The number of 39 lashes became the standard rather 
than the maximum number; but in order to prevent death 
by flogging - which would amount to a violation of the bibli- 
cal injunction of "not more" than flogging - the person to be 
flogged was first physically examined in order to determine 
the number of lashes that could safely be administered to him 
(Mak. 3:11). Where, as a result of such examination, less than 
39 lashes were administered, and it then turned out that the 
offender could well bear more, the previous estimate would 
be allowed to stand and the offender discharged (Maim. Yad, 
Sanhedrin 17:2). But the offender would also be discharged 
where physical symptoms manifested themselves during the 
course of the flogging, so that he would not be able to stand 
any more lashes, even though on previous examination he 
had been found fit to stand more (ibid. 17:5). It also happened 
that as a result of such examination, floggings were postponed 
for another day or later, until the offender was fit to undergo 
them (ibid. 17:3). 

Offenses Punishable by this Method 

The offenses carrying the punishment of flogging are, firstly, all 
those for which the * divine punishment of karet is prescribed; 
secondly, all violations by overt act of negative biblical injunc- 
tions (ibid. 18:1). However speech is not, as such, considered an 
overt act: thus, a person insulting the deaf or going about as a 
talebearer among the people in violation of express negative 
injunctions (Lev. 19:14-16) would not be liable to be flogged 
(Yad, loc. cit.). It is only when speech is tantamount to an act, 
as in vows substituting another animal for a sacred animal 
(Lev. 27:10), that flogging is inflicted (Tern. 3b); as it is also for 
swearing falsely by, or taking in vain, the name of God - "for 
the Lord will not clear one who swears falsely by His name" 
(Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11), but the court will, by flogging him (Tern. 
3a). Flogging is also prescribed for cursing, i.e., wickedly us- 
ing the name of God - because failure "to revere this honored 
and awesome Name" is expressly given as the cause of the in- 
fliction of makkot, a term meaning lashes as well as plagues 
(Deut. 28:58-59). Even though the offense is committed not 
just by speech but also by an overt act, it does not always re- 
sult in a flogging: thus, where reparation must be made by 
money, as for the crime of stealing (Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17), the 
payment of ^damages and fines is preferred to flogging; and 
as two punishments may not be inflicted for the same offense, 
the rule is that he who pays is not flogged (Mak. 1:2; 4b; Ket, 
32a). For the same reason, no flogging can be inflicted where 
the offense carries capital (as distinguished from divine) pun- 
ishment (Tosef., Mak. 5:17). Where the negative injunction is 
coupled with a positive one, as for instance: "thou shalt not 
take the dam with the young, thou shalt let the dam go, but the 
young thou mayest take" (Deut. 22:6-7), liability to be flogged 
only ensues if the negative injunction is violated and the posi- 
tive disobeyed as well (Mak. 3:4; Hul. 12:4). 

Floggings were administered with a whip made of calf- 
skin on the bare upper body of the offender - one third of the 
lashes being given on the breast and the other two thirds on 

the back. The offender stood in a bowed position with the one 
administering the beating on a stone above him and the blows 
were accompanied by the recital of admonitory and consola- 
tory verses from Scripture (Mak. 3:12-14; Yad, loc. cit. 16:8-11). 
If death ensued, even though the flogging was administered 
according to law, the executioner was not liable; but if the law 
had not been faithfully observed by him, he would be obliged 
to resort to a city of "refuge as in the case of any other acci- 
dental homicide (Yad, loc. cit. 16:12). 

Disciplinary Floggings 

There are reports in the Talmud of several extralegal floggings 
being prescribed (see ""Extraordinary Remedies), for example, 
for having marital intercourse in public (Ye v. 90b). In many 
cases, the flogging appears to have been sanctioned as a legal 
punishment, even though not falling within the categories set 
out above; for example, where a man and a woman seclude 
themselves (Kid. 81a), or for taking unreasonable vows (tj, 
Suk. 5:2, 55b), or for falling asleep during watch duty in the 
Temple (Mid. 1:2); but these cases may also be regarded as 
instances of disciplinary rather than punitive measures, Dis- 
ciplinary flogging (makkat mardut) was an innovation of the 
talmudic jurists. While the violation of a negative injunction 
calls for punishment, the act of violation being a matter of the 
past, the failure to obey a positive command calls for coercive 
measures calculated to enforce such obedience. Accordingly, 
while punitive floggings may (indeed, must) be restricted to 
a maximum number of blows, disciplinary floggings must be 
unrestricted - to be continued until the offender performs his 
duty. The maximum number of 40 lashes applies only where 
there has been a violation of a negative injunction, but in the 
case of positive commands, "as when they say to him: build a 
sukkah - and he refuses, or: take a lulav - and he refuses - he 
is flogged until his soul departs" (Ket. 86a-b). In the case of 
payment of a civil debt, which is also a positive command im- 
posed bylaw, the question arose whether such payment could 
be enforced by a disciplinary flogging (ibid.); the better opin- 
ion appears to be that it could not, at any rate for so long as 
the debtor had any property attachable in execution proceed- 
ings or if he claimed to have no property only when he was at- 
tempting to avoid payment (Piskei ha-Rosh, Ket. 9, 13). 

Disciplinary floggings were also resorted to where an of- 
fender was not liable to punishment for formal reasons, for 
example for lack of previous warning (Yad, loc. cit., 18:5). It 
was this innovation of the idea of a disciplinary flogging that 
enabled the courts, in post-talmudic times, to make use of the 
penalty of flogging for the maintenance of law and order and 
for the observance of religion. It is found to have been applied 
in an unlimited variety of cases and in different modes of ex- 
ecution. The flogging was mostly carried out in public, so as 
to have a deterrent effect: sometimes in the courthouse (Hai 
Gaon, comm. to Kel. 22, s.v. safsal), sometimes in the syna- 
gogue (Yam shel Shelomoh, bk 8:48, and Resp. Maharshal 28; 
Resp. Maharam of Lublin 46), and sometimes in the square 
outside the synagogue or in other public thoroughfares (Resp. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Ribash 351). Although because of jurisdictional doubts (see 
Bet Din), the application of a disciplinary, as opposed to that 
of punitive, flogging was preferred, the courts did not nor- 
mally adopt the rule that disciplinary floggings ought not to 
be restricted, but ordered floggings to be limited to a certain 
amount of lashes - some holding that the biblical maximum 
applied a fortiori (Yam shel Shelomo, ibid.) y some leaving the 
extent of the flogging in each individual case to the discretion 
of the court (Shaarei Zedek 4:7, 39; Halakhot Pesukot min ha- 
Geonim 89; Shaarei Teshuvah 181). The argument that such 
discretionary floggings constituted a much severer punish- 
ment for many much lighter offenses than the biblical flog- 
ging was countered with the assertion that the execution of 
the flogging should be so humane as to counterbalance the 
increased measure of strokes (Resp. Ribash 90). Indeed, it ap- 
pears that the lashes were not normally inflicted on the bare 
body, nor with a leather whip, nor on the breast or back, but 
rather on less vulnerable parts. Following a talmudic dictum 
that a flogging is to be administered where an offense is re- 
ported but not proved (malkin al lo tovah ha-shemuah: Kid. 
81a), post- talmudic courts introduced the punishment of 
flogging where an offense was threatened or commenced but 
not completed (Resp. Maharam of Rothenburg, ed. Prague 
383; and cf. Darkhei Moshe y hm 421:35 n. 7); but mere suspi- 
cion alone was held insufficient to warrant flogging (Halakhot 
Pesukot min ha-Gebnim 94), unless substantiated by at least 
one witness or by common repute (Shaarei Zedek 3:6, 38). In 
many places, notables were exempt from floggings, and people 
were normally allowed to pay a fine instead (cf. Yam shel She- 
lomOy bk 8:49). Corporal punishment was abolished in Israel 
by the Punishment of Whipping (Abolition) Law 5710 - 1950. 
See entry ^Punishment. 

bibliography: S. Mendelsohn, Criminal Jurisprudence of 
the Ancient Hebrews (1891), 39f. (no. 21), i7if. (nos. 138, 139); S. As- 
saf, Ha-Onshin Aharei Hatimat ha-Talmud (1922), 146 (index), s.v. 
Makkat Mardut and Malkot; Jacob, in: mgwj, 68 (1924), 276-81; Ap- 
towitzer, in: Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri, 5 (1935/36), 33-104; S. Katz, Die Strafe 
im Talmudischen Recht (1936), 63 f.; et, 1 (19513), 136; J.M. Ginzburg, 
Mishpatim le-Yisrael (1956), 381 (index), s.v. Makkat, Malkot; em, 
4 (1962), 1 160 f., s.v. Malkot; M. Elon, Herut ha-Perat be-Darkhei 
Geviyyat Hov ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1964), 22-26, 207f. add bibli- 
ography: M. Elon, Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1988), 1, 180, 422f., 437f., 
496, 499> 5°4> 558, 567* 579> 649, 692, 705, 720, 11, 841; idem, Jewish 
Law (1994X i> 202, 11, 515^, 534, 604, 608, 614, 679, 689f., 713, 803, 854, 
870, 888, in, 1029; idem, Jewish Law (Cases and Materials) (1999), 
398-404; M. Elon and B. Lifshitz, Mafteah ha-Sheelot ve-ha-Teshuvot 
shel Hakhmei Sefard u-Zefon Afrikah (legal digest) (1986) (2), 332-334; 
B. Lifshitz and E. Shochetman, Mafteah ha-Sheelot ve-ha-Teshu- 
vot shel Hakhmei Ashkenaz, Zarefat ve-Italiyah (legal digest) (1997), 


[Haim Hermann Cohn] 

FLOHR, SALO (Solomon Mikhailovitch; 1908-1983), Rus- 
sian chess prodigy. Flohr, who was born in the Ukraine, es- 
caped from a pogrom at an early age and found refuge in 
Czechoslovakia, which he represented in chess matches. He 
won several masters' tournaments between 1929 and 1939, 

went to Moscow during World War 11, and became one of 
the leading Soviet grand masters and a chess writer of dis- 
tinction. As he developed his game he changed his style 
from a brilliant incisive to a cautious one, and became a 
"drawing-master." Regarded at one time as the likely succes- 
sor to Alekhine, Flohr was eventually displaced, notably by 


[Gerald Abrahams] 

FLOOD, THE, deluge (Heb. mabbul) described in the Book 
of Genesis and brought by God to destroy humankind because 
of its sinfulness. Outside of the Noah tales in Genesis mab- 
bul occurs only in Psalm 29:10. In Isaiah 54:9 the great flood 
is called "waters of Noah." 

The Biblical Narrative (Gen. 6:5-9:17) 

As punishment for the corruption and injustice rife on earth, 
God decided to bring a universal inundation to wipe out civi- 
lization. Alone of humankind, a blameless and righteous man 
named *Noah, together with his family, was to be saved. God 
informed him of His decision and gave him detailed instruc- 
tions for the building of an ark and its provisioning (see *Ark 
of Noah). Noah was to take aboard the members of his fam- 
ily, together with male and female representatives of the ani- 
mals, birds, and creeping things. When all the preparations 
were completed, the flood waters inundated the earth, blotting 
out all earthly existence, and lifting the ark above the highest 
mountain peaks. Then the rains ceased, the waters subsided 
and the ark came to rest on the mountains of ^Ararat. Noah 
waited forty days and then sent out a raven, which, however, 
returned to the ark. Seven days later he released a dove, which 
came back bearing an olive leaf. After a further delay of seven 
days, he again dispatched the dove which did not return, and 
Noah knew it was safe to disembark. This he did on receiv- 
ing instructions from God, and he thereupon offered sacri- 
fices to Him. God, in turn, promised to restore the rhythm of 
the times and seasons and undertook never again to destroy 
humankind, setting his (war)bow in the sky as an everlasting 
symbol of this promise. He blessed Noah, his offspring, and 
everything on earth. 

Extra-Biblical Accounts 

Legends of a great inundation submerging much or all of 
the earths surface are found in the traditions of a number of 
peoples. They are especially common among the Indians of 
the Western Hemisphere, the Aborigines of Australia, and 
the islanders of the Central and Southern Pacific, and also 
abound in the southern regions of Asia. Chinese and Japa- 
nese versions exist, but with the deluge circumscribed in ex- 
tent. A few legends are found in Europe; that of Iceland de- 
picts a flood of catastrophic proportions produced by blood 
gushing from the wounds of a giant. However, the accounts 
closest to that of the Bible are those emanating from southern 
Mesopotamia. The ancient Greek flood stories also may have 
been influenced by the earlier Mesopotamian diluvial tradi- 
tions. There are no grounds for assuming that all or most of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the widespread legends are related. It is apparent that many 
of them are rooted ultimately in mans fear, based on terrify- 
ing experiences, of being annihilated by violently surging wa- 
ter. Most of them developed quite naturally from memories 
of unusually disastrous floods. The alluvial plain of southern 
Mesopotamia was vulnerable to widespread flooding. In the 
Old Babylonian period in particular, catastrophic flooding 
was frequent, so that the myth of the ancient flood (abubu) 
had special significance (Cole and Gash apud George, 509). 
Ancient memory blended with contemporary experience to 
produce tales of universal inundation. None of the flood ac- 
counts has received wider distribution than the biblical story. 
At the time it was incorporated into Jewish traditions, how- 
ever, it was already countless centuries old. The earliest extant 
version of this tradition is known from a Sumerian clay tab- 
let discovered at Nippur, the holy city of ancient Sumer. Un- 
fortunately, only the lower third of the tablet has survived. 
Since the publication of the text by Arno Poebel in 1914, no 
additional fragments of the Sumerian flood story have come 
to light. Although the Sumerian text is badly broken, enough 
remains to give inklings of the content of the missing portions. 
The text, now known as "The Eridu Genesis" (cos 1, 513-15) 
as a whole seems to provide a general history of humankind, 
in which the main episode is the deluge. Among the subjects 
touched are the creation of humans, the rise of kingship, and 
the establishment of cities. One of the deities declares his in- 
tentions of saving humankind from a destruction decreed 
by the gods. The coming of the flood is made known to King 
Ziusudra, who was noted for his receptiveness to divine rev- 
elations: "A flood will sweep over the temples. The decision, 
the declaration of the assembly of the gods, is to destroy the 
seed of humankind." The next section of the composition is 
missing but most likely contained instructions for Ziusudra 
to build an immense ship by which he might rescue himself 
from a watery grave. The lacuna is followed by a description 
of the inundation and the eventual reappearance of Utu the 
sun god, to whom Ziusudra offers sacrifices: "All the tempests 
attacked as one, very powerful. Simultaneously the deluge 
sweeps over the temples, After the flood had swept over the 
land for seven days and seven nights and the huge boat had 
been tossed about by the windstorms on the expansive wa- 
ters, Utu the sun god who illumines heaven and earth came 
out. Ziusudra opened a window of the ship and heroic Utu 
shone into the great vessel. Before Utu, King Ziusudra pros- 
trated himself; the king kills a steer and slaughters a sheep." 
Again there is a gap in the text, after which it is told that the 
king was granted eternal life and given a place of abode in a 
land called Dilmun, where the sun god rises. There the hero 
was to share immortality with his gods. The hero's name sur- 
vived as Xisuthros in the flood story as retold in Greek by the 
Babylonian priest Berossus in the third century b.c.e. 

The Sumerian account inspired a similar history of hu- 
mankind written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian 
on three clay tablets, dated to around 1700 b.c.e., with frag- 
ments of two other versions inscribed about a thousand years 

later. The composition is now called the Epic of Atrahasis 
(cos 1, 450-53) after its hero, whose name means "Exceed- 
ing Wise." 

The first tablet begins in primordial times when the 
lesser gods were so burdened with toil that they engaged in 
the first-ever documented work-stoppage, and demonstrated 
against the great god Enlil. The dispute was resolved when it 
was decided that the midwife of the gods, Mami (also known 
as Nintu, Belet-ili, and Aruru), would create humans to work 
in place of the gods. One of the lesser gods was sacrificed and 
from an admixture of earth with his blood and flesh, human- 
kind was brought into being. The second tablet relates that the 
worlds population had increased so substantially that humans 
had become a nuisance to the head of the pantheon, Enlil. Pro- 
voked by the disruption of celestial serenity, Enlil announced 
before a divine convocation his intention to retaliate against 
human beings with a series of plagues, including a drought 
and famine. Obviously not satisfied with the results of these 
measures, the chief god then decided to destroy humanity by 
means of a flood. Humankind had a friend, however, in the 
wise god Enki (= Ea), who was permitted to be in charge of 
the inundation. The third tablet relates how Enki warned King 
Atrahasis. He spoke to the wall of the monarch's residence, 
rather than directly to the ruler, perhaps to avoid the appear- 
ance of revealing the gods' secrets to a human. Atrahasis was 
told to destroy his house and build a ship by which he would 
be able to save his life. Although much of the tablet is broken, 
the building of the ship, the loading of the animals, and the 
flood itself are documented. The gods ultimately decide that 
a more effective method of population control than a great 
flood is to create categories of women who cannot bear, and 
demonic baby-snatchers. 

Parallels between the Epic of Atrahasis and the biblical 
Flood narrative may be cited, but even greater similarities to 
the Genesis account are present in another Babylonian epic 
whose hero bears the name Gilgamesh. (Thanks to the biblical 
similarities, the publication of this work in the late 19 th century 
created a great stir in religious circles.) This epic skillfully and 
creatively blends several borrowed Sumerian literary motifs 
into what has come to be regarded as one of the masterpieces 
of world literature. It most likely came into existence around 
the beginning of the second millennium. Important sections 
written in classical (or Old) Babylonian are extant today, as 
are later rescensions extending over a millennium. 

The Epic of Gilgamesh is divided into eleven tablets to 
which a twelfth, consisting of a literal translation from a Su- 
merian source, has been added. The fragments so far pieced 
together leave relatively few gaps in the epic. Tablet xi, in 
which the immortalized hero of the flood, usually called 
Utanapishtim ("He-Found-Life"), though occasionally also 
Atrahasis, relates the story of the flood to his mortal descen- 
dant Gilgamesh, is virtually intact, thus providing the most 
complete version of the deluge story in cuneiform script, The 
flood narrative in the Gilgamesh Epic is not part of a history 
of the world, as is the case in the epics of Ziusudra and Atra- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



hasis. It is introduced rather as a story told to a hero obsessed 
with his quest for immortality. 

Much of the epic is devoted to the heroic expeditions of 
Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu. These episodes lead 
ultimately to the central theme, viz., the inevitability of death. 
Enkidus demise by divine decree, after the two adventurers 
had insulted the gods, brings Gilgamesh face to face with the 
one factor before which every person must yield. He then de- 
votes himself completely to seeking a way to escape the des- 
tiny of all flesh. It is this confrontation with death that im- 
pels Gilgamesh to make his way to the person who was the 
Babylonian counterpart of the biblical Noah, a man named 
Utanapishtim, who, with his wife, had been blessed by the 
gods with immortality after surviving the diluvial catastro- 
phe. From him Gilgamesh hopes to gain the secret of eternal 
life. After an arduous and perilous journey, Gilgamesh reaches 
the distant Utanapishtim and asks how he had obtained life 
without end. In reply, the ancient man recounts in detail the 
story of the deluge. 

Utanapishtim relates to Gilgamesh how he was residing 
in Shuruppak, an urban center on the bank of the Euphrates, 
when he was warned of an impending disaster. For no stated 
reason, the gods, under the leadership of the warlike Enlil, 
felt compelled to bring a deluge of proportions sufficient to 
wipe out the human race. However, the god Ea, counterpart 
of the Sumerian Enki, made known the supernal counsel by 
speaking to the wall of the reed house in which Utanapishtim 
lived. Utanapishtim was told to tear down his house and build 
a ship, into which he must bring representatives of all living 
creatures, The boat was to be equal in width and length, with 
a covering over the top. At once, Utanapishtim confessed his 
desire to comply with the gods wishes, but also asked how he 
should explain his actions to the people of his community. Ea 
advised him to say that he has learned that he was to be the 
object of EnliTs hatred and, lest his presence in their midst 
bring disaster upon them, he must go into exile, journeying 
to Eas dwelling-place in the marshlands near the Persian Gulf. 
(Cf. the explanation given by Jonah to his shipmates (Jonah 
1:10) that his sea voyage is in flight from yhwh.) It was by 
this ruse that Utanapishtim obtained the assistance of the 
people of Shuruppak in constructing the ship. The finished 
vessel, a perfect cube of 120 cubits, had seven levels, each di- 
vided into nine compartments. Supplies were loaded onto it, 
including whatever silver and gold Utanapishtim had in his 
possession. His family and relatives came aboard and animals, 
craftsmen, and a boatman joined the company. When all was 
ready, the onset of the tempest was heralded by an evening 
of rain, Utanapishtim studied the storm apprehensively, then 
entered the ship and closed the door. At daybreak on the fol- 
lowing morning, a black cloud rose from the horizon and sub- 
sequently darkness enveloped the landscape. The storm raged 
so fiercely that even the gods cowered in fear. For six days and 
nights the tempest assailed the earth, but on the seventh day it 
ceased and the tossing sea grew calm. Utanapishtim opened a 
window, and upon seeing the scene of death, wept. After the 

storm, the ship approached a peak called Mount Nimush (or 
Nisir) as it emerged from the subsiding water. The ship ran 
aground and could not free itself from its resting place. Six 
days elapsed and on the seventh day, Utanapishtim tested 
the situation by releasing a dove, It flew away and then re- 
turned without finding a place to land. A swallow was next 
let loose, but with the same result. Subsequently, a raven 
was released and did not return, for the water had abated. 
Utanapishtim interpreted this as a sign that the flood was over, 
He prepared a sacrificial offering "on top of the mountain", 
and burned incense to the gods, who, attracted by the sweet 
odor, "gathered like flies." Enlil arrived later than the oth- 
ers and was filled with rage when he saw that mortals had 
survived, but Ea soothed his wrath, explaining that it was 
through a dream that Utanapishtim had learned the secret 
plan of the gods, Thereupon Enlil boarded the ship, took the 
man and his wife on board, and, touching their foreheads as 
they knelt on either side of him, formally conferred immor- 
tality on them. 

The Biblical-Mesopotamian Parallels 

No parallels between the biblical and extra-canonical ac- 
counts are more remarkable and impressive than those be- 
tween Utanapishtims story and that of Genesis. At the same 
time, there are important and basic differences between the 
two sources. 

In the Genesis story the flood marks a turning point in 
history. While this does not figure in the Gilgamesh Epic, the 
concept is apparent in other Mesopotamian sources, which 
divide epochs into "before the flood" and "after the flood" 
(cf. Ps. 29:10; see Cohen and Hallo in Bibliography). In both 
accounts the flood is a result of divine decision and one indi- 
vidual, a deity's favorite, is chosen to be saved by constructing 
a large vessel, whose dimensions, together with building in- 
structions, are divinely communicated. In each case the vessel 
is calked inside and out with a tar-like substance to render it 
seaworthy. Animals and birds are taken aboard in both nar- 
ratives. Both traditions describe the utter devastation of the 
flood, and both have the ship coming to rest on a mountain 
peak, with the hero shortly thereafter sending forth birds to 
determine if the earth was again hospitable. Finally, in both 
narratives the hero offers sacrifices on emerging from his ves- 
sel, and receives a divine blessing. 

In spite of these unmistakable and striking parallels, 
many details are not shared by the two accounts. Some of the 
dissimilarities are obviously due to the fundamental differ- 
ence in religious orientation. The Book of Genesis is essen- 
tially monotheistic, while the Gilgamesh Epic and its prede- 
cessors are consistently polytheistic in outlook. Utanapishtim 
is elevated to the status of a god, while Noah remains human. 
In further contrast, the God of the Bible establishes a cove- 
nant with all humankind after the deluge, a concept alien to 

While Noah is not identified with a particular city, Utana- 
pishtim is said to be a citizen of Shuruppak. The former is told 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


explicitly and directly that the flood will come, while Utana- 
pishtim must deduce the course of events from a carefully 
worded warning obliquely delivered to the wall of a reed hut. 
Furthermore, Eas warning is given without the knowledge of 
Enlil, who had insisted on destroying all humankind with- 
out exception. In the monotheistic framework of the Bible, 
however, the author of the Flood intentionally provides for a 
surviving remnant, though unlike the Babylonian version in 
which a considerable number of people were spared (Utana- 
pishtims relatives and a crew), in the Genesis story only Noah 
and his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law enter the ark. The 
ships in which Noah and his Babylonian counterpart ride out 
the storm differ considerably in size and shape, the craft of 
Utanapishtim having a displacement about five times that of 
Noahs vessel. It is highly significant that the Mesopotamian 
hero needed a boatman to navigate his ship, while that of Noah 
needed neither rudder nor sail nor any other navigational aid. 
The building of an ark, rather than a ship, is intended to at- 
tribute Noah's deliverance solely to the will of God, and not 
to any human skill. 

In the Gilgamesh Epic there is no indication of when 
the deluge began and ended, but in one of the sections of the 
biblical account precise dates are given. As for the duration of 
the storm, the accounts are widely divergent: six days in the 
Gilgamesh Epic as against forty according to one of the fig- 
ures in Genesis, and no fewer than 150 according to another. 
The site at which the biblical ark came to rest after the Flood 
is identified as Ararat, a range northeast of Lake Van near 
the 40 th parallel. Utanapishtims ship, however, grounded far 
to the south on Mount Nimush/Nisir, near the 35 th parallel. 
From the latter vessel a dove, a swallow, and a raven, in that 
order, were released, whereas Noah first turned a raven loose 
and then twice sent out a dove. 

In Genesis there is no doubt that the reason for the 
Flood is divine punishment for human injustice, lawlessness, 
and social unrighteousness, and that the salvation of Noah is 
solely conditioned by his moral worthiness. The same notion 
is not fully articulated in the Gilgamesh epic, but is, nonethe- 
less, implicit in the god Eas criticism of the god Enlil. Ea in- 
sists that only sinners should suffer for their crimes, whereas 
the flood caused by Enlil had punished the innocent as well. 
(Gilg xi, 181-95). Th e situation in the Mesopotamian narra- 
tives, however, is not at all clear in respect to the choice of 
the hero, whose deliverance involved the deception of one 
god by another. 

Sacrifice is significant in both stories to the point of 
striking verbal similarity. According to Genesis 8:21, yhwh 
smelled the pleasing odor of the sacrifice, while Gilgamesh xi, 
161 reads: "The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the 
sweet savor." The writer continues with "the gods gathered 
likes flies around the sacrificer," a formulation that the bibli- 
cal writer could hardly have tolerated." Nor could he have de- 
scribed the biblical god in terms of a swarm of hungry flies. 
At the same time, the biblical story goes so far as to credit 
sacrifice with maintaining what would later be called the 

world (olam) a view still held, if attenuated in the Mishnah 
(Avot 1:2). 

While it is clear that the biblical account is dependent on 
the much earlier Mesopotamian material, the numerous dif- 
ferences between the two versions may be due either to Isra- 
elite reworking of earlier sources or to an intermediary recen- 
sion. The text was widely known even outside Mesopotamia, 
including Akkadian fragments from *Emar in upper Syria, 
*Megiddo in Israel and Hattusas, the Hittite capital in Turkey. 
Hattusas has also yielded Hittite and Hurrian adaptations. 

When the deluge story became part of the Hebrew reper- 
tory, it was developed in more than a single tradition. Subse- 
quently the products were carefully interwoven, but without 
eliminating some contradictions and duplications. The biblical 
narrative emerges, nonetheless, as a consistent moral indict- 
ment of the human race, designed to reveal the character of 
Israel s God and His ethical demands. It is this aspect of the 
Genesis diluvial presentation which makes it significantly dif- 
ferent from its Mesopotamian analogues. 

[Dwight Young / S. David Sperling (2 nd ed.)] 

In the Aggadah 

God mourned for seven days for the world that He had cre- 
ated before He sent the Flood (Gen. R. 32:7). One view is ex- 
pressed that the Flood did not cover the Land of Israel (Zeb. 
113a). On the other hand, it is stated that the olive tree from 
which the dove took the leaf that provided evidence that the 
Flood had subsided was from a tree on the Mount of Olives 
(Har ha-Mishha); it is also stated that when the Canaanites 
heard of the exodus of the Children of Israel, they adopted 
a "scorched earth" policy and cut down all the trees (Ex. R. 
20:16) which were, however, ancient and gnarled, since they 
had been planted after the Flood (Eccles. R. 3:11. no. 2.). The 
gigantic *Og, king of Bashan, survived the Flood (Nid. 61a). 

[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz] 

bibliography: Aa. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Tes- 
tament Parallels (1946); E.A. Speiser, in: Journal of World History, 1 
(1953), 311-27; idem, Genesis (1964); E. Sollberger, The Babylonian Leg- 
end of the Flood (1966 2 ); N.M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis (1966), 
37-62; W.G. Lambert and A.R. Millard, a tr a -has is, The Babylonian 
Story of the Flood (1969); J. Bright, in: Biblical Archaeologist Reader 
(1961), 32-40. add. bibliography: A. Kilmer, in: Orientalia 41 
(1972), 160-77; idem, in: F. Rochberg-Halton (ed.), Language, Lit- 
erature, and History ... Studies E. Reiner (1987), 175-80; J.R Lewis, 
abd 11, 798-803; J. Sasson, ibid., 1024-27; N. Sarna, in: Genesis (jps; 
1989), 46-60; C. Cohen, in: janes, 19 (1989), 18-19; W. Hallo, in: 
maarav, 7 (1991), 173-81; A.R. George, The Babylonian Gilgamesh 
Epic, 2 vols. (2003). 

FLORENCE (It. Firenze) city in Tuscany, central Italy. There is 
no evidence of a Jewish community in the Roman City of Flo- 
rentia. Early medieval documents preserved in the Florence 
Archives mention names that can be Jewish. The first evidence 
of a Jewish presence is dated to the 13 th century. However, only 
in 1396 did the Commune of Florence allowed Jews to practice 
banking in the city and therefore to settle there. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Representatives of the Jewish communities in Italy, as- 
sembled in Florence in 1428, obtained a letter of protection 
from Pope Martin v. In 1430 the municipal authorities invited 
Jewish bankers to set up shop, as they believed that they would 
be easier to control than their Christian counterparts. The first 
loan license was granted in 1437. Soon various Jewish families, 
such as the Da Pisas, Da Rietis, and Da Tivolis settled in Flor- 
ence. Generally, the Jews met with hostility from the populace, 
while the aristocracy, especially the Medici family, protected 
them. The obligation to wear the Jewish *badge was frequently 
enforced and then suspended. Jews lived mainly on the other 
side of the Arno. A Via dei Giudei still exists in the area. There, 
until World War 11, was possible to see the remains of a syna- 
gogue. The Jewish cemetery, within the city walls, was situated 
on the present Lungarno della Zecca. There were anti-Jewish 
demonstrations in 1458 and 1471. Further threats of violence 
were restrained with difficulty when Bernardino da *Feltre 
preached in Florence in 1488, and he was escorted from the 
city. However, the Medici often protected the Jews. In 1477 
Lorenzo the Magnificent successfully stopped an attempt to 
expel the Jews from the city. On Lorenzo's death in 1492, the 
Jews of Florence faced new difficult times under the Republic. 
After the triumph of Savonarola a Monte di *Pieta was estab- 
lished, the Jewish bankers were compelled to transfer there 
their loan-bank licences. Later the Jews were expelled. In 1493 
a Jew, falsely accused of having damaged the face of Giovanni 
Tedesco's statue of the Virgin in Orsanmichele Church, was 
brutally executed. 

The Medici returned to Florence in 1512, and in 1514 Jew- 
ish moneylenders were recalled. In 1527 the Medici were again 
banished, and the Jews received orders to leave, their expul- 
sion being delayed. On the accession of Alessandro de Medici 
as duke (1531), the anti-Jewish enactments were abolished. 
However, only with Cosimo 1 (1537-74) and his wife Eleonora 
of Toledo, who were on friendly terms with the *Abrabanel 
family of Naples (afterward of Ferrara), did the Jews of Flor- 
ence enjoy a long period of peace. It was on Jacob Abrabanel's 
advice that the duke authorized an appeal, directed primarily 
to Jews, promising wide privileges to merchants willing to set- 
tle in Florence. In 1551 Cosimo made an official proclamation 
which granted various concessions to Levantine Jews. How- 
ever, years later Cosimo consented to the burning of the Tal- 
mud in the cities within the duchy (1553). On the other hand, 
he offered refuge to many Jews who left the papal states as a 
result of Pope Paul *iv s repressive measures, which he refused 
to implement in Florence. Cosimo modified his attitude when 
seeking to obtain the popes agreement to his assumption of 
the title of grand duke. Under Pius *v, he introduced the badge 
(1567) and established a ghetto (1571), both in Florence and Si- 
ena, the only two cities where Jews were authorized to live. The 
ghetto of Florence was planned by no less a personage than 
Bernardo Buontalenti, the Grand Duke's architect. It occupied 
a square area bounded to the east by Via dei Succhiellinai (Via 
Roma), to the south by Piazza del Mercato Vecchio, to the west 
by Via dei Rigattieri (Via Brunelleschi). In the central square 

stood two synagogues, serving the Spanish-Levantine and the 
Italian communities, respectively. 

So far the development of Jewish intellectual life corre- 
sponded to the rich attainments of Florentine culture. Jewish 
men of letters were highly esteemed at the court of Lorenzo 
de' Medici (1449-92) by contemporary scholars and writers. 
Elijah *Delmedigo, Johanan *Alemanno, and Abraham *Faris- 
sol were closely connected with these circles of scholars and 
humanists. The banker Jehiel b. Isaac of *Pisa has been termed 
the "Lorenzo the Magnificent" of the Jewish community, and 
eminent scholars assembled at his home. Christians such as 
Giannozzo *Manetti, Marsilio *Ficino, Girolamo Benivieni, 
and Pico della *Mirandola were thus introduced to Hebrew 
language, literature, and philosophy. The 15 th and 16 th centu- 
ries were a fruitful period for Jewish literature and poetry, 
and other branches of Jewish learning, even though the com- 
munity did not number much more than 100 families. The 
establishment of the ghetto terminated this renaissance. The 
number of Jews in Florence substantially increased, however, 
as they were forced to leave the provincial towns of the duchy 
and reside in the capital. 

The legislation of 1571 restricted Jewish trade to second- 
hand goods and strictly enforced the ghetto system. Ferdi- 
nand 1, the successor of Cosimo 1, who became Grand Duke in 
1587, granted a series of privileges to Levantine Jews and they 
were allowed to live outside the ghetto. Italian Jews, however, 
were not only confined to the borders of the ghetto but were 
also excluded from the city's guilds. In 1670 a fire destroyed 
the northern area of the ghetto. The damaged Italian syna- 
gogue was partly rebuilt. Under the rule of Cosimo in, the 
ghetto was extended to accommodate a growing population. 
In general the position of the Jews was more favorable than 
their legal status warranted. 

In 1737 the Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany from the defunct dynasty of the Medici. 
The situation of the Jews soon changed for better. Thus in 
1750 the community was allowed to purchase the two build- 
ings housing the synagogues. Certain civic rights were con- 
ferred on the Jews by the Grand Duke Leopold 1 (1765-90), 
one of the champions of the Enlightment in Europe, includ- 
ing the right to vote for the municipal council (1778). The first 
solely Hebrew printing press in Florence operated from 1734 
to 1736, when Francesco Mouecke published a number of li- 
turgical items. Isaac b. Moses di Pas printed there from 1744 to 
1755. G. Campiagi printed a number of Hebrew books be- 
tween 1778 and 1838, as did Rabbi G.V.A. Coen around 1828. 
When widespread popular disturbances broke out in 1790 
against the reforms introduced by the ruler, the ghetto was 

The Jews of Florence received their complete emancipa- 
tion with the entry of the French Revolutionary army (March 
25, 1799), which was subsequently forced to depart. In 1800 the 
French returned and the Jews regained their freedom. Flor- 
ence, as well as Tuscany was annexed to Napoleonic France. 
Thus in 1808 a decree established consistories to govern the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


life of the Jewish communities in Tuscany, as in neighbor- 
ing France. 

After the restoration of the grand dukes (1814), Jews con- 
tinued to enjoy wide toleration, albeit with some discrimina- 
tion. Jews were permitted to own real estate and to work as 
physicians and pharmacists, but were barred from the legal 
profession and were excluded from military service. In this 
period various Jews, mainly from the Pontifical States, immi- 
grated to the more tolerant Florence. Florence Jews as well as 
the Jews of the rest of Tuscany attained equality in 1848 under 
the constitution granted by Grand Duke Leopold 11. Finally, 
in 1859, when Tuscany was incorporated in the Kingdom of 
Sardinia (from 1861 the Kingdom of Italy), the Jews were rec- 
ognized as equal citizens of the new kingdom. In 1859 two 
Jews, the D'*Ancona brothers, held prominent positions in 
the provisional government of Farini before Tuscany was an- 
nexed to the Kingdom of Italy. 

In 1864 Florence became the capital of Italy (until 1870). 
This probably influenced the community's decision to build a 
new synagogue. The building was erected in 1872, in the new 
district of the Mattonaia, in Via Farini 4. It was a building in 
the Moorish style, crowned by a huge dome. The original plan- 
ner was the architect Marco Treves, later joined by Mariano 
Falcini and Vincenzo Micheli. The synagogue was twice visited 
by royalty: by Umberto 1 in 1887 and by Vittorio Emanuele in 
in 1911. Not all of Florences Jews lived in the area. Thus in 1882 
two small synagogues were opened in Via delle Oche 4. In 1899 
the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano was transferred from Rome 
to Florence and placed under the guidance of Samuel Hirsch 
*Margulies. Through him and his pupils the community be- 
came the center of Hebrew culture in Italy. In 1931, 2,730 Jews 
lived in the community. 

Hebrew Printing 

The first solely Hebrew printing press in Florence operated 
from 1734 to 1736, when Francesco Mouecke published a num- 
ber of liturgical items. Isaac b. Moses di Pas printed there from 
1744 to 1755. G. Campiagi printed a number of Hebrew books 
between 1778 and 1838, as did Rabbi G.V.A. Coen around 1828. 
Publications appearing in Florence included Rivista Israelitica 
(1904-15), and Settimana Israelitica (1910-15), and the news- 
papers Israel (from 1916) and Rassegna Mensile di Israel (from 
1925); both later appeared in Rome. 

[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto / Josef Levi (2 nd ed.)] 

Holocaust Period 

The German occupation of Florence occurred on September 
11, 1943. The perilous situation of the Jews immediately caused 
Rabbi Nathan Cassuto, son of the famous scholar Umberto 
*Cassuto, to seek assistance from the local clergy, and espe- 
cially from the archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Elia Dalla 
Costa. Cassuto was concerned not only for the Florentine 
Jews but also for those refugees, mostly of East European or- 
igin, who after the announcement of the armistice between 
the Italians and the Allies on September 8, had followed the 
Italian Fourth Army occupying southeastern France on its 

retreat back into Italy. Many of the refugees were women and 
children. The Jewish-Christian relief committee that was born 
following the contacts between Cassuto and Dalla Costa be- 
came operative at the end of September 1943. This relief com- 
mittee consisted of Cassuto himself; Father Cipriano Ricotti, 
prior of the Monastery of San Marco; Don Leto Casini, priest 
of Varlungo; Matilde Cassin (Rabbi Cassutos young assistant, 
who attended to the contacts with the Florence monasteries 
and convents where the Jewish refugees were lodged); Eu- 
genio Artom, a lawyer; Giuseppe Castiglioni, a lawyer; Guido 
De Angelis; Prof. Aldo Neppi Modona; and Giuliano Treves. 
Vital support to the relief committee was provided by Raffa- 
ele *Cantoni, who was in Florence following the dismissal of 
Mussolini as prime minister on July 25, 1943. Cantoni provided 
the committee with money, food, and clothing that were later 
distributed among the Jewish refugees lodged in the monas- 
teries and convents. Giorgio La Pira, mayor of Florence after 
World War 11, helped greatly in the search for monasteries and 
convents willing to take in the Jewish refugees. 

The refugee committee was active for two months, from 
the second half of September to the second half of Novem- 
ber 1943. The German raids against Jews in Tuscany began 
early in November 1943. On November 5 they took place 
in Siena and Montecatini. On November 6 the ss broke 
into the synagogue in Florence, seizing the custodian and a 
few refugees just arrived from France. They were deported 
to Auschwitz on November 9. On the evening of November 
26, the ss invaded the premises of the Azione Cattolica, an 
Italian Catholic organization situated in Via dei Pucci, where 
a meeting of the Jewish-Christian relief committee was tak- 
ing place, seizing Nathan Cassuto and other committee mem- 
bers. That same night, an ss unit with the active cooperation 
of a squad of Fascist soldiers invaded three monasteries 
in Florence: the convent of the Franciscan Missionary Sis- 
ters of Maria in the Piazza Carmine, where they seized 30 
women and many children; the monastery of the Ricreatorio 
di San Giuseppe in Via Domenico Cirillo, where they arrested 
about 20 men; and the convent of the Sisters delFApparizione 
in via Gioberti, where they seized additional women and 
children. On the evening of November 29, as a result of 
betrayal, the Nazis apprehended, in the Piazza della Signo- 
ria, Anna Cassuto, the rabbis wife; Saul Campagnano, Cas- 
sutos brother-in-law; and Raffaele Cantoni. Most of the Jews 
arrested during the raids of late November 1943 were taken 
to the San Vittore prison in Milan, from where, on January 
30, 1944, they were deported to Auschwitz. Cantoni man- 
aged to escape from the train, but the others arrived on Feb- 
ruary 6, 1944. 

The relief activities of the Jewish -Christian committee 
continued clandestinely, but on a reduced scale, until the lib- 
eration of Florence in August 1944. About 243 Jews were de- 
ported from Florence, of whom only 13 returned. Eight Jews 
were murdered in circumstances related to their arrest, and 
four died while fighting with the partisans. 

[Massimo Longo Adorno (2 nd ed.)] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Contemporary Period 

At the end of the war, 1,600 Jews were left in Florence. This 
number was reduced by 1965 to 1,276 out of a total of 455,000 
inhabitants as a result of the constant excess of deaths over 
births. In 1962 the two oratories in Via delle Oche were sold. 
In 1970 there were approximately 1,250 Jews in Florence, in- 
cluding some in the surrounding area. By the turn of the cen- 
tury the number had dropped to around 1,000. In the floods 
of 1966, the muddy waters of the Arno River inundated the 
beautiful synagogue, causing great damage to the sacred ob- 
jects and library. Today the synagogue is of the Sephardi rite, 
but there is also an Ashkenazi prayer house. The community 
had a kindergarten, an elementary school, and a high school 
as well as a rest home for elderly people, and a kosher restau- 
rant. A review, Ebrei d'Europa, is published irregularly. 

bibliography: Milano, Bibliotheca, index s.v. Firenze; Roth, 
Italy, index; U. Cassuto, Ebrei a Firenze nelV eta del Rinascimento 
(1918); Roth, in: Israel (Apr. 17, and May 1, 1924); H.D. Friedberg, To- 
ledot ha-Defus be-Italya... (1956), 88. add. bibliography: M., 
Bini, "Edificazione e demolizione del Ghetto di Firenze: prime rico- 
struzioni grafiche," in: Architettura judaica in Italia: ebraismo, sito, 
memoria dei luoghi (1994), 285-301; A. Boralevi, "Prime notizie sulT 
istituzione del Ghetto nella Firenze medicea," in: Potere e lo Spazio: 
riflessioni di merito e contributi (1980); U., Caffaz, "La cultura ebra- 
ica, Firenze nella cultura europea del Novecento," in: Atti de Vies- 
seux (1993), 231-41; G. Carocci, J7 Ghetto di Firenze ed i suoi ricordi 
(1886); M., Cassandro, "Per la storia delle comunita' ebraiche in To- 
scana nei secoli' xv-xvn," in: Economia e Storia, 4 (1977), 425-49; 
U., Fortis, Ebrei e sinagoghe; Venezia, Firenze, Roma, Livorno, Guida 
pratica (1973); L. Frattarelli Fisher, "Urban Forms of Jewish Settlement 
in Tuscan Cities (Florence, Pisa, Leghorn) during the 17 th Century," 
in: wcjs, 10 (1993), 48-60; D. Liscia Bemporad, "La Scuola Italiana 
e la Scuola Levantina nel ghetto di Firenze: prima ricostruzione," in: 
Rivista d'Arte 38:5, iv, 11 (1986), 3-49; idem, "Firenze, nascita e de- 
molizione di un ghetto," in: M. Luzzatti (ed.), Il Ghetto ebraico, Storia 
di un popolo rinchiuso (1988); V. Meneghin, Bernardino Da Feltre e i 
Monti di Pietad e i banchi ebraici (1974); P. Pandolfi, Ebrei a Firenze 
nel 1943, persecuzione e deportazione (1980); R.G. Salvadori, Gli ebrei 
toscani nelVeta ' della Restaurazione (1814-1848) (1993); idem, Breve sto- 
ria degli ebrei toscani (1995); Memorie della persecuzione degli ebrei con 
particolare riguardo alia Toscana, aned-anfim (1989); E. Salmon, 
Diario di un ebreo fiorentino, 1943-1944 (2002); M. Longo Adorno, Gli 
ebrei fiorentini dalVemancipazione alia Shoah (2003); S. Minerbi, Un 
ebreo fra D'Annunzio e il sionismo: Raffaele Cantoni (1992). 

FLORENTIN, MEVORAH (1895-1963), Venezuelan pioneer 
in the education of the blind. Florentin was born in Salonika, 
Greece. He lost the sight of one eye at the age of seven and 
his sight gradually deteriorated. In 1923, he settled in Cara- 
cas, Venezuela, and devoted himself to the study of Spanish 
until 1934 when, convinced that he would soon go completely 
blind, he turned to the study of Braille and the welfare of the 
blind. In 1936, he founded the Society for the Friends of the 
Blind, and after passing examinations in Braille and in typh- 
lology (the scientific study of blindness) in Paris, he estab- 
lished a printing press for the publication of scholarly texts in 
Braille. In 1959, he founded the Eye Bank of the Venezuelan 
Institute for the Blind and the first School of Telephonists for 

the blind. In recognition of his services he was decorated four 
times by the Venezuelan Government, including the Order 
of Francisco de Miranda. After Flore ntins death, the street in 
which the institute for the blind is located was named in his 
memory, and different educational institutions for the blind 
carry his name. 

FLORETA CA NOG A, i4 th -century Spanish physician. A 
document from 1381 indicating that Na Floreta Ca Noga of St. 
Coloma de Queralt was paid fifteen gold florins for her suc- 
cessful treatment of Sibila, Queen of Aragon, is among sev- 
eral records of royal payments for her services. She is one of a 
number of known female physicians of the medieval period, 
many of whom specialized in diseases of the eyes. 

bibliography: A. Cardoner Planas, "Seis mujeres hebreas 
practicando la medicina en el reino de Aragon," in: Sefarad, 9:2 
(1949), 443; A. Lopez de Meneses. "Documentos culturales de Pedro 
el ceremonioso," in: Estudios de Edad Media de la Corona de Aragon, 
5 (i953)> #84, 736-37; E. Taitz, S. Henry, and C. Tallan. Thejps Guide 
to Jewish Women (2003). 

[Judith R. Baskin (2 nd ed.)] 

FLORIDA, most southeasterly U.S. state, with a warm climate 
and long coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. 
This combination creates a desirable quality of life that has at- 
tracted large numbers of people of all ages, among them many 
Jews. Florida (in 2005) boasted more than 17 million residents 
and had diversified its economy to become an important cen- 
ter of tourism, beef cattle, citrus, and space technology. Much 
of the growth in the Sunshine State since the end of World 
War 11 has been in its southern portions and South Florida 
had the third largest concentration of Jews in the U.S. after the 
New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. 

Florida was discovered by Ponce de Leon for Spain in 
1513 (21 years after the Spanish Inquisition) and some ^Con- 
versos may have come with him, as they did with Columbus. 
Americas first permanent settlement was in St. Augustine in 
1565. There are Sephardi names among those who lived there 
and evidence suggests that Pedro Menendez Marques, the 
third Spanish governor of Florida (1577-89) may have been 
a Converse The perception that Jews were late arrivals in 
Florida parallels the belief that ascribes the founding of the 
U.S. to the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock. Current documenta- 
tion shows that Jews have been allowed to live in Florida for 
nearly 250 years. 

Until the mid- 18 th century Florida was for Catholics only. 
The Treaty of Paris (1762), which concluded the French and 
Indian War, gave Florida to the British and Louisiana to the 
Spanish. Jews living in Louisiana had to move. In 1763 three 
Sephardi Jews came from New Orleans to Pensacola: Samuel 
Israel, Joseph de Palacios, and Alexander Salomon. (Alexan- 
der Salomon may have been related to Haym ^Salomon, who 
helped finance the American Revolution.) 

Although Florida was returned to Spain following the 
American Revolution (1783), the Spanish needed settlers in 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the territory, so they tolerated a tiny Jewish presence. From 
the mid-i8 th century until Florida achieved statehood in 1845, 
Jews continued to trickle into northern Florida. The "Archi- 
tect of Statehood" was a Jew, David Levy * Yulee, a son of pio- 
neer Moses *Levy. 

Eighty-one years before the First Zionist Congress in 
Basel, Switzerland (1897), Sephardi Jew Moses Elias Levy em- 
barked on his own "Zion" plan to resettle oppressed European 
Jews in Florida. Born in Morocco in 1782, Moses Levy was de- 
scended from one of the many Jewish families who, having 
been expelled from the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the 15 th 
century, found refuge in northern Africa. Raised in Gibral- 
tar, Levy made his way to St. Thomas, v.i., in 1800. There he 
worked in the lumber business, accumulating a considerable 
fortune. He became interested in Florida and, in 1819, pur- 
chased 92,000 acres in the north central region. 

Envisioning a haven for persecuted Jews, Levy called his 
settlement in Micanopy "Pilgrimage Plantation." He hired 
Frederick ^Warburg, a member of the noted German Jew- 
ish banking family, to help him recruit Jewish settlers. Young 
Warburg, along with at least five other German Jewish fami- 
lies, lived on the Plantation. Included among them was Levy's 
son David, who became Florida's first U.S. senator. Moses Levy 
built a plantation house and houses for the settlers' families, 
as well as a blacksmith shop, stable, sugar mill, sawmill, and 
corn house. He brought in sugar cane, fruit trees, and seeds. In 
an effort to create a Utopian Jewish settlement, Levy included 
among his projects a plan for the abolition of slavery, public 
schools, and a Jewish school. 

The 1,000-acre plantation lasted from 1822 to 1835, when 
it was burned down by the Seminoles at the outbreak of the 
Second Seminole Indian War. Sustaining the plantation had 
been a challenge; in early 19 th century Florida, it was virtu- 
ally in the middle of nowhere. And the urban backgrounds of 
most of the Jewish settlers made adaptation to a rural outback 
difficult. As Levy said, "It is not easy to transform old clothes 
men into practical farmers." 

Moses Levy left Florida a lasting legacy. Divorced, he 
had brought with him to Florida two of his four children, 
Elias and David. Elias was sent to Harvard; David boarded 
with the Moses Meyer family in Norfolk to get his Jewish ed- 
ucation and then came to Florida by 1827 to manage some of 
his father's properties. He pursued law and was admitted to 
the Florida bar in 1832. David Levy became extremely active 
in politics. He helped draft Florida's constitution and eventu- 
ally was sent to the U.S. Congress as the representative of the 
Territory of Florida (1841), where he argued for statehood. 
Being the first Jew to serve in the U.S. Congress, Levy faced 
discrimination when John Quincy Adams referred to him as 
the "alien Jew delegate." 

With less than one hundred Jews in the state, David Levy 
was elected to the U.S. Senate when Florida became a state 
in 1845. He officially added the name of his father's Sephardi 
ancestry, Yulee. Yulee operated a 5,000-acre sugar plantation 
on the Homosassa River and another in Alachua County. He 

established a residence in Fernandina, where, in the 1850s, 
he organized and planned Florida's first railroad linking the 
Atlantic and Gulf coasts. On March 1, 1861, the first cross- 
state train of the Atlantic & Gulf Railroad left Fernandina at 
7:15 a.m. and reached the outskirts of Cedar Key at 4 p.m., 
with eight stops in between. 

Yulee resigned from the Senate when Florida seceded 
from the Union in early 1861. During the Civil War he served 
in the Confederate Congress. The war took a heavy personal 
toll. Union forces burned Yulee's plantation in Homosassa, 
his railroad lay in ruins, and, after the war, he was briefly im- 
prisoned by the Union. Following his release, Yulee rebuilt 
his railroad, its operation continuing until the 1930s. Yulee 
moved to Washington, d.c, in 1880. He died six years later 
and is buried in Washington. Scholars contend there is no evi- 
dence that David Levy Yulee converted from Judaism, even 
though he married a Christian. Florida's Levy County and 
the town of Yulee (Nassau County) are among the places in 
Florida named for him. 

Until 1822, Jews who lived in Florida came from some- 
where else. The earliest known Jewish births are a girl (Virginia 
Myers) in Pensacola in 1822 and a boy (George Dzialynski) in 
Jacksonville in 1857. In that same year (1857), also in Jackson- 
ville, Jews built the first Jewish cemetery in Florida. And in 
1874 B'nai B'rith had a chapter in Pensacola. 

Florida's first synagogue was constructed in Pensacola 
in 1876. By the end of the 19 th century, there were six Jewish 
congregations and five Jewish cemeteries in Florida. Floridian 
Jews served on both sides of the Civil War. Following the Civil 
War, Jews began migrating south, settling in Tampa, ^Orlando, 
Ocala, and even Key West. The west coast city of *Ft. Myers, 
founded in 1886, was named for a Jew - Abraham C. Myers, 
a West Point graduate and a descendant of the first rabbi of 
Charleston, South Carolina. Myers had served as quartermas- 
ter during the Second Seminole Indian War. 

In 1879 German Jew Henry Brash was elected mayor of 
Marianna in north Florida, the first known of more than 150 
Jews to serve their communities in this capacity. David Sholtz, 
a Russian Jew, became Florida's governor in 1933. Miami's 
Richard *Stone became the state's second Jewish U.S. senator 
in 1974 after serving as Florida's secretary of state. Scores of 
Jews have served in the state legislature and in the U.S. Con- 
gress. In 2005 Florida was represented in Washington by Deb- 
bie Wasserman Schultz and Robert *Wexler. More than 250 
Jews have served as judges in Florida. 

In 1915 Jacksonville Jew Ben Chepenik wrote his relatives 
in Massachusetts, "Sell everything; come quickly to Florida, 
the land of milk and honey; you can walk down the streets and 
pick citrus." And many did come. For Jews, Florida offered a 
variety of occupational opportunities. Some transferred their 
traditional dry goods businesses to Florida; others used the 
state's resources to develop or expand new ideas. In Florida, 
Jews became ranchers, farmers, cigar makers, architects, de- 
velopers, hoteliers, artists, writers, scientists, retailers, educa- 
tors, doctors, lawyers, civic leaders, and more. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 








1882 o St. Augustine 

Daytona Beach 





a o Lakeland 
*"a Tampa 
St, Petersburg 1894 

Fort Pierce 


o_ 100-1 ,000 
1 ,000-5,000 
over 50,000 


Palm Beach I 
Fort Myers * County 

Fort Lauderdale 
Naples a Hollywood. 

Miami 1 

% of Jews in general population of Florida 

% of Florida Jews in Jewish population of U.S 

Jewish communities in Florida, with earliest dates of establishment. Popu- 
lation figures for 2001. 

Jews owned the largest shade tobacco -packing factory in 
Quincy, near Tallahassee. Saul Snyder, a Russian Jew who im- 
migrated to St. Augustine in 1904, founded the Florida Cat- 
tlemen's Association at a time when cattle was the states ma- 
jor industry. The first Miss Florida was Jewish (1885). Much 
more recently, Marshall *Nirenberg of Orlando was awarded 
the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for breaking 
the genetic code (1968) and Isaac *Bashevis Singer - rou- 
tinely associated with New York City but a Florida resident 
as well - received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1978. Four 
Jews have served on the Supreme Court of Florida, including 
as chief justice: Ray Ehrlich, Arthur England, Gerald Kogan, 
and Barbara Pariente. 

Prior to the 20 th century, most Jewish settlement in Flor- 
ida was in the north or Key West (Key West was a port of en- 
try for some European immigrants). But the development of 
railroads made accessible southern regions, and Jews headed 
south. Jewish migration throughout the state increased, but 
numbers increased exponentially after World War 11, espe- 
cially in Miami-Dade County. Air conditioning made Florida 
comfortable for year-round life. 

The first South Florida community to host Jews was 
probably West Palm Beach, where Jews settled in 1892 when 
the railroad arrived there. Growth was slow at first; as late 
as 1940, the Jewish population in *Palm Beach County was 
only 1,000. In 2005 the Jewish population in Palm Beach 
County was the second largest in the state at about 220,000; 

the Boca Raton metropolitan area was more than 50% Jew- 

Many of the Jews who first settled in West Palm Beach 
were among the earliest settlers of *Miami. Miami, founded 
in 1896, was difficult to reach until Henry Flagler extended 
his railroad southward. But by the mid- 1890s, the railroad 
rendered Miami and sites south accessible and Jews migrated 
accordingly. Other Jews migrated from Key West to Miami 
in the 1890s when a peddlers tax was imposed there. Some 
stayed after serving in the Spanish- American War. The first 
Jews settled on Miami Beach in 1913. After reaching its Jewish 
population zenith in 1975 (250,000), Miami-Dade County de- 
clined to about 113,000 in 2005 as elderly Jewish residents died 
and more recent retirees moved north, partly due to "white 
flight." At present, *Broward County, not Miami-Dade, has 
the largest number of Jews. Just as the center of the Jewish 
population moved south from ^Jacksonville in the 1930s, it is 
now moving north. 

Jews came to escape persecution in Europe, for economic 
opportunity, to join family members, to enjoy the climate, for 
their health, and to retire. In the 21 st century, South Florida 
was an area stretching from Palm Beach to Miami where 15% 
of the population was Jewish. Most Jews came from other 
places in the United States, with considerable subsequent mi- 
gration from Latin America as Jews were impacted by poli- 
tics and economics. Jews have contributed in multiple ways 
to the development of the state, striving to maintain Jewish 
culture and institutions even as they've adjusted to the spe- 
cial nature of the place. 

Sixteen percent of the American Jewish community lived 
in Florida in 2005. In the 1890s the Florida Jewish population 
was about 2,500; by the 1950s, the population had grown to 
70,000; in 2005 it was nearly 850,000, about 5% of the gen- 
eral population, and still growing. Outside of South Florida, 
communities with noteworthy Jewish populations include 
Orlando, 35,000; Tampa, 25,000; St. Petersburg-Clearwater, 
20,000; Sarasota, 17,000; Jacksonville, 13,000; Ft. Myers, 8,000; 
Naples, 6,000; Cocoa, Rockledge, Titusville, 6,000; Daytona, 
Ormond and environs, 5,500; Tallahassee, 4,400; Pensacola, 
900 and Key West, 550. (See separate entries on other Jewish 

In 2005 there were more than 350 congregations, 14 
Federations that raised $82 million annually, 15 Jewish com- 
munity centers, six university Judaic Studies programs, five 
Jewish homes for the aged, and eight Jewish newspapers. In 
Miami Beach were the Jewish Museum of Florida, a nation- 
ally recognized Jewish hospital (Mt. Sinai), and a major Holo- 
caust Memorial. There was Florida Holocaust Museum in St. 
Petersburg as well as other Holocaust memorials and docu- 
mentation and education centers around the state. The March 
of the Living and the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, 
two programs with international implications, began and are 
based in South Florida. There were nearly 100 kosher restau- 
rants. And there was the full array of Jewish organizations, 
from the American Jewish Committee to the Zionist Organi- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


zation of America. Few would deny that this was a significant 
American Jewish community. 

[Marcia Jo Zerivitz (2 nd ed.)] 

°FLORUS OF LYONS (c. 860), successively secretary to the 
bishops *Agobard and *Amulo. Florus supplied no more than 
the literary material for the two bishops' anti-Jewish writings, 
which have often been wrongly attributed to him. However, he 
alone was responsible for two anti- Jewish compilations. The 
first, De coertione Iudaeorum ("On Forcing the Jews," c. 820), 
was in defense of Agobard, who was accused of using force in 
bringing Jewish children to baptism. The second, Defugiendis 
contagiis Iuaeorum ("On the Avoidance of Jewish Pollution," 
before 826), was included in a memorandum addressed to the 
emperor by Agobard and some of his colleagues. 

bibliography: Blumenkranz, in: Revue historique de droit 
francais et etranger, 33 (1955), 2276°., 56ofF.; idem, Les auteurs Chre- 
tiens latins... (1963), 170-1. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 

FLOSS, village in Bavaria, Germany. In 1685 a group of Jewish 
cloth merchants received a charter to settle and build on an 
unoccupied hill. Four houses were built in 1687 and the Jew- 
ish "colony" (juedische Kolonie), as it was called then, had 12 
houses by 1712. In 1721 a synagogue was built. The commu- 
nity (referred to as "Judenberg" by contemporaries) retained 
its rights of self-government and jurisdiction well into the 19 th 
century. When the government in 1819 ordered the incorpora- 
tion of the Jewish community within the village according to 
the 1813 Bavarian edict (see *Bavaria), the Christian villagers 
protested, and in 1824 the Jewish community was again sepa- 
rated. It was totally incorporated in the village in 1869. There 
were 200 Jews living in Floss in 1799, 391 in 1840, 205 in 1871, 
and 19 in 1933. Floss served as a religious center for the Jews 
of the neighboring villages. On Kristallnacht (November 1938) 
the synagogue (consecrated in 1817) was burned down and the 
rabbi s house and communal center were ransacked. No Jews 
returned after the war. Yehoseph *Schwarz, pioneer Jewish 
geographer of Erez Israel, was born in Floss. 

bibliography: M. Weinberg, Geschichte der Juden im Her- 
zogtum Sulzbach (1927); awjd (Nov. 2, 1951), 9; S. Schwarz, Die Juden 
in Bayern (1963), 87, passim; pk Bavaryah. 

FLOWERS. Almost all the very rich and variegated flora of 
Erez Israel are flowering plants (Phanerogamae), and most 
of them have an attractively colored corolla. In Israel flowers 
bloom all year, in the cold and rainy season as well as in the 
burning heat of summer, but mainly during the spring. In this 
respect Israel differs from those countries where plants almost 
entirely cease blooming in winter and burst forth in spring in 
a blaze of flowers and greenery. The biblical "month of Abib" 
("spring"; Ex. 13:4; et al.) refers to the time when the grains of 
corn in the ear are still tender. In point of fact, there are two 
seasons of the year in Israel: "Cold and heat, summer and 
winter" (Gen. 8:22); "Thou hast made summer and winter" 

(Ps. 74:17). The winter season begins after the early rains have 
fallen (October-November). Shortly afterward the ground 
is covered with a blanket of green grass. Appearing soon af- 
ter the early rains, the first flowers bloom, mainly those of 
bulbous plants such as species of colchicum with their pink- 
ish-white flowers and the crocus and saffron with their white 
ones. Masses of yellow dandelions and calendula appear a few 
weeks later. Once more the color of the fields changes, this 
time to the bright pink of the thousands of silene. In January 
the fields are covered with the blood-red flowers of the anem- 
one, other colors of it - white, pink, and violet - growing in 
Galilee and on the Carmel. Their red is replaced shortly after 
by the fiery red flowers of the ranunculus, and here and there 
are to be seen the beautiful red blooms of the tulip, which in 
the 1930s and 1940s dominated the landscape of the Sharon 
and the mountains but have been greatly diminished as a re- 
sult of ruthless picking. The red species of poppy, however, 
which bring the season of abundant flowering to a close, have 
not been affected in this way. 

Such is the main cycle of the landscapes changing hues 
in Israels Mediterranean areas until the arrival of summer. In 
addition to these there are hundreds of species of other flow- 
ers, some of them the most beautiful in the country, as well 
as several endemic species that are among the prettiest in the 
world, such as the cyclamen, conspicuous by its delicate flow- 
ers and picturesque leaves, which appears among the rocks 
as early as December. The fragrant narcissus is found in the 
valleys and prominent in March- May are many species of 
terrestrial orchids, not inferior in beauty despite their small 
flowers to their congener, the tropical epiphytic orchids. This 
period is rich in the blooming of floral species of the Irida- 
ceae family, such as those of the gladiolus and iris, as well as 
flowers of the Liliaceae family, to which the Lilium candidum 
belong. Because of expanding agricultural settlement and the 
intensive picking of blooms, the areas of these beautiful flow- 
ers have been greatly reduced, but their number has been in- 
creasing year by year since the passing of the State of Israel s 
nature protection laws. 

In the desert areas of Israel - the Negev and Aravah - 
flowering begins after the first rain and here also are many 
splendid flowers, particularly of the Liliaceae and Iridaceae 
families as well as species of the Salvia and crucifers. To the 
last belongs the desert Mantur which in winter covers the 
rocky hammada with a purple carpet of millions of flowers. 
The flowering period of the desert flora is short. Annuals 
have a brief existence, the entire life cycle of some - sprout- 
ing, growing, flowering, and seeding - lasting no more than 
ten weeks. In this way desert flora ensure their survival before 
the advent of the long, dry summer months. The Mediterra- 
nean single-season flora, too, have a brief span of life. Taking 
advantage of the rainy season, they grow rapidly, and flower 
for a few days, only to disappear suddenly with the coming 
of the first hot sharav ("sirocco") winds of spring. This phe- 
nomenon has found expression in many metaphors, such as 
those describing the end of man's life: "The grass withereth, the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



flower fadeth" (Isa. 40:7), and his short life: "In the morning it 
flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and 
withereth" (Ps. 90:6). The wicked, too, are likened to masses of 
single-season flowers that suddenly flourish in all their bril- 
liance but with the coming of the hot sharav wind disappear 
without a trace (ibid. 92:8). 

Besides wild annuals or bulbous and tuberous flora, there 
are many wild perennials - beautiful flowering shrubs and 
trees. Cyclical changes mirrored in the blossoms* hues on the 
dominant shrubs and trees can be distinguished in the color 
of the landscape. The first tree to bloom in Israel, when forest 
trees are still shedding their leaves is the *almond, covered 
with a white mantle of blossoms (some strains of the culti- 
vated almond have pinkish flowers). Shortly after, in January, 
with the blossoming of the Calycotome shrub, the prevailing 
color of the woods changes to yellow. Next the rockrose (Cis- 
tus) shrubs bloom with their large pink and white flowers. 
The purple flowers of the Judas tree (Cercis) are conspicuous 
in the woods in March. Then yellow, the color of the spar- 
tium shrubs, once again becomes the predominant hue, to 
be replaced by the white of the flowers of the styrax and the 
hawthorn (Crataegus). The great majority of the country's 
shrubs and trees blossom in winter and spring, and only a few 
of them in the dry summer - the season when the eucalyp- 
tus flowers. Soon after the rains the various species of *citrus 
bloom, and the air is filled with the scent of their blossoms. 
The end of summer, with the approach of the rainy season, 
sees a revival in some species of flora known as "the harbin- 
gers of winter"; prominent among these is the *squill with its 
white flower, like an erect candle, which comes out of the bulb 
during the last months of summer. The Pancriatum - "lily of 
Sharon" - blooms in this season, its large, fragrant flowers vis- 
ible from afar in the desolate landscape. Two species of the 
colchicum flourish at the end of summer. It is, at first sight, 
surprising that the Bible and talmudic literature seldom refer 
to the use of flowers for decorative purposes, but in ancient 
times the emphasis was laid on aromatic flora, and it is their 
fragrance which is emphasized. The picking of flowers is re- 
ferred to in the Bible only once: "My beloved is gone down 
to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, 
and to gather lilies" (Song 6:2). The Mishnah, too, speaks of 
the picking of lilies, but in a cemetery (Toh. 3:7). Mention is 
made of a "rose garden" which existed in Jerusalem since the 
days of the prophets (bk 82b). According to the Mishnah, figs 
grew there (Maas 2:5). But here, too, it is doubtful whether 
this garden was for decorative purposes or whether the fra- 
grant roses were not used in the preparation of perfumes (see 
*Rose). The flowers mentioned in the Talmud, such as the saf- 
fron, jasmin, and narcissus, are chiefly mentioned as aromatic 
and medicinal flora. 

The flower was a common motif in ancient Hebrew art: 
the ornamentation of the candlestick was in the form of "a ca- 
lyx and petals" (Ex. 25:33). On the brim of the "sea" in the Tem- 
ple were embellishments "like the brim of a cup, like the flower 
of a lily" (1 Kings 7:26), while the boards of cedar in it were 

"carved with knops and open flowers" (ibid. 6:18). Josephus 
tells that the crown worn by the high priest was in the form of 
the calyx of the Hyoscyamus flower. Apparently the passage, 
"Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and 
to the fading flower of his glorious beauty" (Isa. 28:1), alludes 
to floral wreaths. In apocalyptic literature it is stated that vir- 
gins wore floral chaplets, as did those celebrating Tabernacles 
and the victor in battle (II Bar. 10:13; J UD - 16:30; iv Mace. 17:15). 
The Talmud refers several times to chaplets of roses (Shab. 
152a; bm 84a). It is also related that bridegrooms wore wreaths 
of roses and myrtle (Sot. 9:14; Tosef. 15:8) and that non-Jews 
garlanded the idols on their festivals with crowns of roses and 
corn (Av. Zar. 4:2; tj, Av. Zar. 4:2, 43d). 

Flowers of the Bible 

Only three flowers are mentioned by name in the Bible, 
the shoshan or shoshannah ("lily" or "rose"), shoshannat ha- 
amakim (shoshannah "of the valleys"), and havazzelet ha- 
Sharon ("rose" or "lily" of the Sharon (Valley)). The complex 
question of the identification of the shoshan or shoshannah 
has provoked more studies than any other flora mentioned 
in the Bible, there being scarcely a beautiful flower found 
in Israel (and even beyond its borders) that has not been 
suggested. Symbolizing in the Bible beauty and fragrance, 
it is most probably to be identified with the Lilium can- 
didum - the white (madonna) lily. Abraham Ibn Ezra (in 
his commentary on Song 2:1) had this flower in mind when he 
stated that shoshan, shoshannah is derived from shesh ("six"), 
"since it always has six white petals as well as a pistil and 
long stamens which likewise number six." On the basis of 
this identification and doubtless also because of its delightful 
smell, Ibn Ezra declared, contrary to the generally accepted 
view, that the expression "his lips are as lilies" (ibid. 5:13) 
refers "to scent and not to appearance," that is, not to the 
red color of the lips but to their sweet odor. The other descrip- 
tions of the word in the Bible fit in with "lily" (Song 6:2-3; 
4:5; 5:13; 7:3). Previously doubt was cast on this identification 
on the grounds that it was not proved that in ancient times 
the lily grew wild in Erez Israel, but this large, beautiful, 
and scented bloom is to be found in woods in the Carmel and 
Galilee areas. To see the lily's lovely fragrant flowers bloom- 
ing at the beginning of summer among the various thorns 
that then dominate the landscape is an enchanting experi- 
ence, and hence "as a lily among thorns, so is my love among 
the daughters" (Song 2:1-2). It is this passage that was re- 
sponsible for the incorrect identification of shoshannah as 
a rose, having been explained as referring to a rose amid its 
thorny stems. The rose was not found in Erez Israel in bib- 
lical times, however, and although two species of rose grow 
wild in the country, they are neither beautiful nor fragrant, 
nor do the name shoshan and its biblical description fit the 
rose. It must, however, be pointed out that its identification 
as a rose already appears in the Midrash which speaks of the 
"red shoshannah" and of "a shoshannah of a rose" (Lev. R. 23:3; 
Song R. 7:3, no. 2). 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Although the identification of shoshannah as a 
lily is almost certain, it is difficult to identity the shoshannat 
ha-amakim mentioned with it in the Song of Songs since the 
white lily does not grow specifically in valleys. Of the many 
suggestions put forward in identifying it, the most likely ap- 
pears to be the narcissus (Narcissus tazetta) y a fragrant flower 
with six enveloping petals that flourishes particularly in valleys 
with a heavy soil. Havazzelet ha-Sharon is mentioned in the 
same verse (Song 2:1) and also in the vision of the flowering of 
the desolate land which shall "blossom as the havazzelet" and 
to which "the excellency of Carmel and Sharon" shall be given 
(Isa. 35:1-2). The havazzelet y as also the shoshannah y is iden- 
tified by the Septuagint as Kpivov, that is, a lily. The Targum 
on Song of Songs identifies it with a narcissus, while various 
exegetes have identified it with the country's beautiful flow- 
ers, such as the iris or rose (Ibn Ezra), the colchicum (Loew), 
the tulip, as well as other flowers of bulbous plants, since the 
word is very probably connected with bazal ("bulb"). It is gen- 
erally accepted that havazzelet ha-Sharon is to be identified 
with the Pancratium maritimum y a bulbous plant with white, 
highly scented flowers which blooms at the end of summer 
in the coastal lowland; thus it appropriately symbolizes the 
flowering of the desolate land and its transformation into "the 

excellency of Carmel and Sharon." 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

Ceremonial Use 

Mans awareness of the fragrance of flowers is an occasion for 
him to say the blessing, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord ... who cre- 
atest fragrant plants" (Ber. 43b). Yet flowers and plants were 
not generally used in synagogal or Jewish home ceremonies. 
On *Shavuot, however, it is customary to decorate the syna- 
gogue with fragrant grass, flowers, and branches. A threefold 
reason is given for this custom: the branches are a reminder 
that Shavuot is also the "Day of Judgment" for trees (rh 1:2); 
the fragrant grass is symbolic of the people of Israel assembled 
around Mount Sinai for the giving of the To rah (Ex. 34:3); and 
the flowers are a symbol for the betrothal of Israel to the Torah. 
The decorating of synagogues with flowers on Shavuot was op- 
posed by some authorities on grounds of its similarity to the 
Christian practice (see *Hukkatha-Goi). In modern times on 
Shavuot, synagogues are sometimes also adorned with sheaves 
of wheat, etc., symbolic of Shavuot as the festival of the wheat 
harvest and the offering of the *first fruits (bikkurim; see also 
Bik. 3:3). In the U.S. the custom has grown of having flowers 
at most family events, On Simhat Torah in some congrega- 
tions, a huppah ("bridal canopy") made of plants and flowers 
is placed on the bimah ("platform"), and on Sukkot, the suk- 
kah is embellished with fruits, flowers, and plants. Traditional 
Jewish mourning customs admit neither wreaths nor flow- 
ers at funerals or on tombstones (although in modern times, 
this custom is frequently disregarded). The planting of trees 
and shrubs around the synagogue building was the cause of 
heated debates a century and a half ago. Orthodox rabbinical 
authorities strongly objected to the landscaping of synagogue 
grounds, based on Deuteronomy 16:21 (see also Maim. Yad, 

Avodat Kokhavim 6:9). This objection, motivated by fear of 
innovation and reform, subsided in the course of time and 
yielded to the desire for an aesthetically appropriate setting 
for the synagogue. 

bibliography: J. Feliks, Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikrai 
(1968 2 ), 232-43; Loew, Flora, 2 (1924), 144]?; Z. Avidov and I. Har- 
paz, Plants of Israel (1968). 

FLUSSER, DAVID (1917-2000), scholar of comparative reli- 
gion; professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem begin- 
ning in 1962. Flusser s researches were devoted to Christian- 
ity, with a special interest in the New Testament; to Judaism 
of the Second Temple Period, and in particular to the *Dead 
Sea Scrolls; to the *Josippon Chronicle, and certain associated 
areas. Of great prominence were his researches into the Dead 
Sea Scrolls and the sect which produced them, especially as 
the Scrolls relate to the New Testament. His article "The Dead 
Sea Sect and Pre-Pauline Christianity" (Scripta Hierosolymi- 
tana y 1958) is central to any consideration of these problems. 
He has published over 1,000 articles in Hebrew, English, Ger- 
man, and other languages, distinguished by a great sensitiv- 
ity to currents and types of religious thought as well as by 
their philological analysis. His published work also includes 
"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit," in: iej, 10 (i960), 1-12; Die 
konsequente Philologie und die Worte Jesu (1963); De joodse 
oorsprong van het Christendom (1964); Yosippon: Kunteres le- 
Dugma (1947); Jesus in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten 
(1968) and Jesus (1969, 2001 3 ); and translations into French 
and Dutch as well as "Jesus in the Context of History" (in: The 
Crucible of Christianity (1969), 225-34, ed. A. Toynbee). Later 
books include Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (1988) 
and Judaism of the Second Temple Period (2 vols., 2002). In 
1980 he was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish studies. 

FLY (Heb. 2UJ), which occurs in an analogous form in other 
Semitic languages, refers mainly to the housefly (Musca do- 
mestical A dead fly turns foul anything it falls into (Eccles. 
10:1). Among the visitations against which public prayer was 
offered up was a plague of flies (Taan. 14a). The Palestinian 
amora y Johanan, warned against flies as carriers of disease 
(Ket. 77b). One measure of a mans fastidiousness is how he 
reacts when a fly falls into his drink (Tosef., Sot. 5:9). One of 
the miracles that occurred in the Temple was that "no fly was 
seen in the slaughter house" (Avot 5:5). Rav reported from 
observation that "no fly is a year old"; in other words, that it 
does not live more than six months (cf. Deut, R. 5:2). Despite 
the repulsiveness of the fly, its existence was considered im- 
portant in the balance of nature (tj, Ber. 9:3, 13c). The people 
of Ekron worshipped an idol called Baal Zebub ("lord of the 
fly," see *Baal), perhaps regarded as a protector against the 
plague of flies (11 Kings 1:2). Besides the housefly, there are 
to be found in Israel stinging, blood-sucking flies, as well as 
carrion and fruit flies. Carrion flies (Lucillia) lay their eggs in 
carcasses. From the eggs hatch maggots (referred to in bibli- 
cal passages as rimmah ve-toleah) y which cause the decom- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



position of the corpse (Isa. 14:11; et al.). The maggots of fruit 
flies (Drosophila) feed on fruit and sweet food (cf. Ex. 16:24); 
the olive fly (Dacus olea) causes the fruit to fall from the ol- 
ive (Deut. 28:40). 

bibliography: Tristram, Nat Hist, 327^; J. Feliks, Animal 
World of the Bible (1962), i23f. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha- 
Zome'ah, 224. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FOA (generally Foa in Italy), Italian family well-known from 
the 15 th century; in the 18 th century it became established also 
in Amsterdam, Constantinople, and France, where the forms 
Foi or Foy were adopted in due course. The origin of the name 
is unknown, but it may derive from Foix in southern France, 
where there was a Jewish community in the Middle Ages. A. 
Yaari (Mehkerei Sefer (1958), 325-44) assembled the names of 
100 distinguished members of the family. The family badge 
shows the Shield of David over a palm tree flanked by two li- 
ons. This was used as their distinctive sprinters' mark by suc- 
cessive members of the Foa family from the middle of the 16 th 
to the 19 th century (see below). 

eliezer nahman (d. after 1641), rabbi and kabbalist, 
a disciple of Menahem Azariah da * Fano. He lived at Reggio 
Emilia where he became chief rabbi of the duchy of Modena. 
He was at the head of the pious association Hevrat ha-Alu- 
vim which sponsored the printing of the commentary on the 
Passover Haggadah, Midrash be-Hiddush (Venice, 1641; com- 
plete ed. Leghorn, 1809). He also left a diffuse philosophic 
and kabbalistic commentary on the Pentateuch, Goren Oman 
(Ms. in Mortara, Almanzi, and Ghirondi collections), moses 
benjamin (1729-1822), bibliophile and bookseller of Reggio 
Emilia, supplied books to the ducal library at Modena and 
later became one of the most celebrated booksellers in Italy. He 
purchased the library of Israel Benjamin *Bassano, which he 
later presented to the Jewish community at Reggio. He wrote 
a Hebrew grammar and copied expertly several Hebrew man- 
uscripts, elia emanuel (d. 1796) founded a Jewish school 
in Vercelli which attained a high standard and continued to 
flourish for over a century. 

In more recent times, the following should be mentioned: 
cesar e (1833-1907), born at Sabbioneta and later rabbi in 
Soragna. He translated into Italian works by *Judah Halevi, 
Moses *Zacuto, and Jacob Daniel *OLmo. pio (1848-1923), a 
pathologist, was born in Sabbioneta. He became a professor 
at the universities of Modena and Turin, and wrote a standard 
treatise on pathological anatomy. An ardent Italian patriot 
and in his youth a follower of Garibaldi, he was made a sena- 
tor of the kingdom. His son carlo (1878-n.a.), a physiolo- 
gist, worked on the function of the glands of internal secre- 
tion, and was lecturer at various Italian universities. He was 
prize winner and later member of the Accademia dei Lincei. 
A member of another branch of this family was salvatore 
(1885-1962), born in Turin, who wrote several monographs 
on the history of the Jews in Piedmont. The French branch of 
the family produced well-known explorers, writers, and phi- 

lanthropists. One of these, edouard (1862-1901), explored 
the interior of Dahomey in 1886 and in 1894-97 crossed Af- 
rica from the mouth of the Zambesi on the Indian Ocean to 
Libreville in Gabon on the Atlantic Ocean, His books include 
Le Dahomey (1895) and De VOcean Indien a VOcean Atlan- 
tique (1900), and Resultats scientifiques des voyages en Afrique 
d'Edouard Foa (published posthumously, 1908). 

[Giorgio Romano] 

One section of the family devoted itself to Hebrew print- 
ing, tobias ben eliezer (16 th century) set up a Hebrew 
printing press in his house in ^Sabbioneta in 1551. In its last 
years, Tobias' sons eliezer and mordecai headed this enter- 
prise, which had to close after difficulties with the censor, the 
last works on the press being finished in *Cremona and *Man- 
tua. Tobias started the fashion of printing special copies, often 
on parchment, for wealthy patrons, nathanel ben jehiel 
began his printing activity as a hobby in Amsterdam in 1702, 
prompted by his uncle and brother-in-law Joseph Zarefati. 
Most of the works he issued (12 up to 1715) were written by 
emissaries from Erez Israel or were manuscripts which they 
had brought with them, isaac ben gad (b. c. 1700), physi- 
cian and one of the leaders of the Venice Jewish community, 
ventured into Hebrew printing about the time of the birth of 
his son gad (1730-1811) and produced mainly liturgical items 
until 1739. From 1741 Isaac was in the book trade proper. In 
1742 he entered into partnership with his kinsman samuel, 
who was also father of a son gad, the two Gads later taking 
over the business. Gad b. Samuel appears as the sole printer 
between 1775 and 1778; he moved to *Pisa in 1796, producing 
13 books at his own press or at that of David Cesna. His last 
major production, in association with Eliezer Saadun, was a 
handsome Hebrew Bible of 1803. Gad b. Isaac resumed print- 
ing in Venice in 1792 until 1809. Among the few major works 
produced by the Foas of Venice are the first four volumes of 
Isaac Lamprontis talmudic encyclopedia Pahad Yizhak. 

bibliography: M. Mortara, Indice alfabetico dei Rabbini 
e Scrittori Israeliti (1886), s.v.; G. Pugleise, Elia Emmanuel Foa ed il 
suo tempo (1896); Ghirondi-Neppi, index; A. Balletti, Gli Ebrei e gli 
Estensi (1930 2 ), 223-9; G. Bedarida, Ebrei d'ltalia (1950), indexes; A. 
Yaari, Mehkerei Sefer (1958), 324-419. 

FOA, ESTHER EUGENIE REBECCA (1799-1853), French 
author. Born in Bordeaux, Esther Foa was the first Jewess to 
make her name as a French writer. Under various pen names, 
including Edmond de Fontanes, she wrote novels and stories 
on Jewish themes for juveniles. Among them are Le Kiddou- 
chim ou Vanneau nuptial des Hebreux (4 vols., 1830), La Juive, 
histoire du temps de la Regence (1835), and Le vieux Paris, con- 
tes historiques (1840). She later abandoned Judaism. 

FOA, RAIMONDO (1877-1940), Italian army officer. Born in 
Casale Monferrato, Foa was commissioned in 1899 and fought 
in the Italo-Turkish War (1911-12). He was an artillery com- 
mander in World War 1 and in 1919 worked in the technical 
service of the artillery. Foa became director of the Terni Ord- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


nance Arms factory in 1927. He was promoted to the rank of 
lieutenant general in 1937. 

add. bibliography: A. Rovighi, I Militari di Origine Ebra- 
ica nel Primo Secolo di Vita dello Stato Italiano (1999). 

FOCSANI (Rom. Focsani) town in E. Romania founded in 
the 17 th century. Jewish settlement there dates from the sec- 
ond half of the 17 th century; there were 20 tax-paying fami- 
lies by 1820. The community numbered 736 in 1838, 1,855 i n 
1859 (19.2% of the total), and 5,954 in 1899 (25.2% of the to- 
tal), 4,301 in 1930 (13.2 % of the total), and 4,935 in 1941 (10.5% 
of the total). Since this was a wine-growing area many of the 
Jews were vintners. Focsani was a center of anti- Jewish hos- 
tility. The oath "More Judaico" was introduced there for the 
first time in 1838. In 1859 there was a case of blood libel soon 
exposed as crime committed for gain. The antisemitic news- 
paper Paznicul was published in Focsani from 1900. The Ro- 
manians* Union, an association founded in 1910, proclaimed 
a boycott of the Jewish merchants. In March 1925 the trial was 
opened in Focsani of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, head of the 
Iron Guard, accused of murdering the chief of the police in 
Jassy. Antisemitic gangs took the opportunity to pillage 300 
Jewish houses, among them the school and the great syna- 
gogue. On the eve of World War 11 the community had eight 
synagogues, the oldest dating from the 18 th century, two pri- 
mary schools, a kindergarten, a medical dispensary, and three 
cemeteries. Focsani was a center of early Zionist activity, and 
the first conference of the Yishuv Erez Israel movement took 
place there on Jan. 11-12, 1882, with representatives from 32 
localities. Rabbis of Focsani include the Hebrew author Jacob 
Nacht (1872-d. in Israel 1959), who officiated there from 1900 
to 1919, and through whose influence Focsani became the 
center of Zionist cultural activity in Romania. The Hebrew 
writer Israel Teller, teacher at the Jewish school, also lived in 
Focsani. Solomon Zalman *Schechter, discoverer of the Cairo 
*Genizah, was born in Focsani. Avram Moise Schwartz, known 
as *Cilibi Moise, the first Jewish writer in the Romanian lan- 
guage, was also born in Focsani. 

Holocaust Period 

In 1941 there were 3,953 Jews living in Focsani out of a total 
population of approximately 37,000. At the beginning of the 
*Antonescu regime, the Jewish merchants were forced to hand 
over their shops to the Iron Guard; those who refused were 
sent to concentration camps at Targo-Jiu and Caracal. Three 
of the synagogues were blown up by military engineers on the 
pretext that the earthquake of November 1940 had damaged 
their foundations, making them dangerous constructions. 

When the war with the Soviet Union broke out (June 
1941), all Jewish males aged between 16 and 60 were impris- 
oned. A few weeks later they were released, except for 65 
hostages including the rabbi and community leaders. Three 
months later the number of hostages was reduced to ten; each 
was held for a while and then relieved by other Jews. The num- 
ber of Jews in Focsani increased considerably with the arrival 

of Jews who had been driven out of the villages and towns in 
the district, as well as Jews from *Ploesti. They were cared for 
by the local community which also aided a group of 400 Jews 
from southern Transylvania who had been brought to the dis- 
trict as forced labor. A number of Jews from Focsani were also 
sent away on forced labor. In the spring of 1944, 210 Jewish 
orphans from *Transnistria were brought to Focsani and put 
under the care of the local community. On May 12, 1944, the 
local military commander mobilized all male and female Jews 
aged between 15 and 55, to dig anti-tank ditches for the defense 
of the town against the approaching Soviet forces. 

In the postwar period the Jewish population, which num- 
bered 6,080 in 1947, decreased to 3,500 by 1950 as a result of 
emigration. By 1970 continued emigration had reduced the 
number further to about 150 families. One synagogue re- 
mained open. In 1994, 80 Jews lived in Focsani, dropping to 
70 in 2004. 

bibliography: Joint Foreign Committee, The Jewish Mi- 
nority in Roumania (1927), 6, 8, 14, 34; M. Schwarzfeld, in: Analele 
Societdtii Istorice Iuliu Barasch, 2 pt., 1 (1888), 41, 73; idem, Momente 
din istoria evreilor in Romania (1889), 7, 20, 23; M.A. Halevy, in: Anua- 
rulevreesc ilustrat pentru Romania (1932), 126-8; Almanahul Ziarului 
Tribuna Evreiascd, 1 (1937/8), 49-50; S. Cristian-Cris, Patru ani de 
urgie (1945), 122; M. Carp, Cartea Neagrd 1 (1946), 156, 177; Y. Ariel, 
in Vointa (Nov. 21, 1955), Th. Lavi, Yahadut Romany ah be-Maavak al 
Hazzalatah (1965), 147; idem, in Viata Noastrd (Sept. 1, 1967). add. 
bibliography: Z. Ben Dov (Zilberman) Focsani, Sippurah shel 
Kehillah (2003); Bund dimineata Israel (July 19, 2004). 

[Iheodor Lavi / Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2 nd ed.)] 

FODDER (Heb. KiDpD, mispo, av, jps, "provender"), most of- 
ten mentioned together with teven ("chaff," av, jps, "straw") 
as feed for camels and asses (Gen. 24:25; 43:24; Judg. 19:19). 
Teven y which was the most important food of domestic ani- 
mals, was made from the bits of straw left after threshing. To 
it was usually added grain or pulse to produce belli (av, jps, 
"provender"), much loved by animals (Isa. 30:24; Job 6:5). 
The principal fodder, as also the customary ingredient of 
belily was barley, which is suitable as feed for single-hoofed 
animals, horses, asses, and mules, and is mentioned as such 
for the horses and swift steeds in Solomons stables (1 Kings 
5:8). Barley was unsuitable for ruminants, yet the Tosefta (bk 
1:8) speaks of "an ass that ate barley and a cow that ate bitter 
vetch (Vicia ervilia)? The latter species is not mentioned in the 
Bible, but was clearly an ancient crop, seeds of it having been 
found in excavations at *Gezer dating from the beginning of 
the monarchy in Judah. The *carob, although similarly not 
mentioned in the Bible, was likewise used as fodder in ancient 
times, particularly for goats (Shab. 155a, et al.). 

In addition to the fodder consisting mainly of grains or 
pulse, animals were given dry hay or green grass (hazir) that 
grows in winter in uncultivated fields (Ps. 147:8-9) and in 
summer alongside sources of water (1 Kings 18:5; Isa. 44:4). In 
places where there is no water the grass dries up in spring (Isa. 
37:27, et al.). In the rainy season animals graze in fields and eat 
natural grass. Sometimes the owner of a field cuts the green 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



cereal and feeds it to his animals, and the cereal continues to 
grow "and does not diminish its grain' (Sif. Deut. 43, on the 
verse: "And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle"). Most 
often the grass was cut and dried as fodder (cf. 1 Kings 18:5), 
the usual talmudic term for green fodder being shahat (Pe'ah 
2:1, et al.)> and for dried amir ("a sheaf" in the Bible). For the 
latter, two species of legumes were specially sown, fenugreek 
(Trigonella foenumgraecum; see *Sifra, 7:1), and more par- 
ticularly cowpea (Vigna sinensis) for its green pods and dry 
seeds, or for dry fodder (Shev. 2:8; et al.). To a limited extent 
vetch (Vicia sativa) was grown for fodder. In Babylonia, alfalfa 
(Medicago) was also sown. 

bibliography: Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 557, 571; 2 (1924), 92, 

474, 476, 4871!.; Dalman, Arbeit, 2 (1932), 165 rT., 268 fT., 330; J. Feliks, 

Ha-Haklaut be-Erez Yisrael bi-Tekufat ha-Mishnah ve-ha-Talmud 

(1963), 255 f., 279-84; idem, Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikrai (1968 2 ), 

205 fT. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FODOR, ANDOR (1884-1968), Israeli biochemist. Fodor 
was born in Budapest, Hungary, and in 1922 became profes- 
sor of biochemistry at the University of Halle, Germany. In 
1923, at the invitation of Chaim *Weizmann, he went to Pales- 
tine to establish a department of chemistry for the projected 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before leaving Europe, he 
purchased the equipment and apparatus for this project, 
and himself supervised the actual building of the Institute of 
Chemistry on Mount Scopus. Fodor was the first professor 
appointed to the university, and held the chair of biochem- 
istry and colloid chemistry for 28 years. Elected first dean of 
the faculty of science, he was responsible for training an en- 
tire generation of Israeli scientists. He did experimental re- 
search into protein structure and the action of enzymes, and 
was the author of Dispersoidchemie (1925) and Das Ferment- 
problem (1922, 1929). 

[Samuel Aaron Miller] 

FOERDER, YESHAYAHU (Herbert; 1901-1970), Israeli 
economist and banker. Foerder, born in Berlin, studied law 
and joined the Zionist student organization, Kartell juedischer 
Verbindungen. He was secretary of the German Zionist Orga- 
nization from 1924 to 1926. Settling in Palestine in 1933, he was 
one of the founders of the Rassco Rural and Suburban Settle- 
ment Company (see ^Israel, Housing), serving as its manag- 
ing director until 1957. During the Mandate period Foerder 
represented Aliyah Hadashah, a party consisting mainly of 
German immigrants, in the Vaad Leummi. In 1949 he was 
elected to the Knesset by the Progressive Party, which he rep- 
resented until 1957. From 1957 he was chairman of the board 
of directors of Bank Leumi le-Israel and of the General Mort- 
gage Bank. Foerder was the author of numerous publications 
on Zionism and on economic problems. 

[Kurt Loewenstein] 

FOGELBERG, DAN (1951- ), U.S. composer and recording 
artist. Born in Peoria, Illinois, Fogelberg studied the piano 

from the age of 14, switched to guitar and played at local cof- 
feehouses while majoring in art at the University of Illinois. 
Fogelbergs first album, Home-free (1972), attracted little atten- 
tion. His second album, Souvenirs (1974), however, proved to 
be one of the finest collections of songs written in the 1970s. 
In 1975 Fogelberg was chosen as pop music's newcomer of the 
year and since then has recorded a number of best-selling al- 
bums including Captured Angel (1975), Twin Sons of Different 
Mothers (1979) with Tim Weisberg, Phoenix (1980), and The 
Innocent Age (1981). During the 1980s, none of his albums 
were platinum, but they continued to sell well among hardcore 
fans. During the 1990s he made several albums: River of Souls 
(1993), No Resemblance Whatsoever, a collaboration with Tim 
Weisberg (1995), First Christmas Morning (1999), and Some- 
thing Old New Borrowed and Some Blues (2000). 

[Jonathan Licht / Israela Stein (2 nd ed.)] 

FOIGHEL, ISI (1927- ), German-born conservative politi- 
cian. Foighel came to Denmark in 1932 and became a professor 
of law at Copenhagen University in 1964. From 1965 to 1971 
he was president of the Danish Refugee Help organization 
and had considerable influence on refugee-related legisla- 
tion. In 1972-73 he was president of the Jewish Community 
and subsequently head of the commission that prepared home 
rule for Greenland. In 1982-87 he was minister of taxation 
in the Danish government and in 1984-87 a member of 
Parliament. In 1988-98 Foighel was a judge at the European 
Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and in addition, in 
1991-95, he was chairman of the board of Denmark's Na- 
tional Radio. 

[Bent Lexner (2 nd ed.)] 

FOIX, formerly independent county, now part of Ariege de- 
partment, southern France, with a capital town of the same 
name. During the Middle Ages there were Jews living in sev- 
eral localities of the county, notably in Foix itself, in Maze res, 
*Pamiers, and Troye-dAriege. In 1292, Roger-Bernard, count 
of Foix, obtained the agreement of Philip the Fair to exempt 
the Jews of the county from paying the royal poll tax. The 
count may also have protected the Jews in his domains from 
the French decree of expulsion of 1306. In 1321, several new 
Jewish communities are mentioned there which appear to have 
escaped the *Pastoureaux massacres. In 1394, the count refused 
to implement the decree of expulsion issued by Charles vi and 
at least succeeded in delaying its execution. At the end of the 
14 th century, four or five Jews figured among over 600 taxable 
inhabitants of the town of Foix. 

bibliography: Gross, Gal Jud, 438; G. Saige, Les Juifs du 

Languedoc (1881), passim; A. de Dufau de Maluquer, Role desfeux du 

comte de Foix (1901), 21. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 

FOLDES, JOLAN (1903-1963), Hungarian author. After leav- 
ing Hungary in the 1920s, Jolan Foldes published the novel 
Maria jol erett (1932; Prelude to Love, c. 1938), but was forced 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


to earn her living in menial occupations. She achieved fame 
with her prize-winning novel A haldszo macska utcdja ("The 
Street of the Fishing Cat" 1936), which portrayed the life of 
emigres in Paris. She died in London. 

°FOLEY, FRANCIS (1885-1958), British army officer and 
Righteous Among the Nations. British lieutenant Francis 
(commonly known as Frank) Foley arrived in Berlin in 1919 
as an intelligence officer to check out the activities of Com- 
munist-led organizations. As a cover for his spy work, his offi- 
cial capacity was Chief Passport Control Officer in the British 
embassy, where he was given wide latitude to decide on the 
admission of foreigners into areas of the British Empire. With 
the Nazi rise to power in 1933, Foley's attention shifted to the 
rearmament of Germany, and he simultaneously began to be 
more preoccupied with helping Jews emigrate from Germany, 
a need which became urgent after the Nazi-staged pogrom of 
November 9-10, 1938, known as *Kristallnacht ("Night of the 
Broken Glass"). Foley utilized legal means whenever possible, 
or exploited loopholes in British immigration laws. British 
regulations at the time forbade the issuance of entry visas to 
persons liable to compete with professional workers in Eng- 
land, as well as to the very old, the sick and handicapped, and 
persons associated with the Communist Party. As for entry 
to Palestine, £1,000 in hand was required to get a "capital- 
ist" visa. This was a sizable sum at the time, and unavailable 
to many Jews whose bank and other assets had been frozen 
by the Nazi authorities. In the case of Elisheva Lernau (born 
Elsbeth Kahn), who could produce only £10, Foley decided 
that the balance of £990 would be available to her the min- 
ute she landed in Haifa, and on the strength of this issued her 
a visa for Palestine. Foley similarly bent the rules very liber- 
ally in the case of Wolfgang Meyer-Michael, accepting his 
cousins guarantee in writing that the sum would be available 
once Wolfgang had crossed the border into the Netherlands. 
In this work, Foley was co-opted by Hubert Pollack, a Jewish 
community worker who brought to Foley's attention persons 
in desperate need of help to leave the country. In the case of 
Gunter Powitzer, jailed in Sachsenhausen for violation of the 
Nuremberg laws and having intimate relations with a non- 
Jewish girl, which produced a child, Foley personally went to 
Sachsenhausen to hand him an exit visa for Palestine, which 
included Gunter s semi- Jewish son, and both left Germany in 
February 1939. In the matter of a 20-year-old woman impris- 
oned because of her membership in the outlawed Community 
Party, Foley ruled that since she was 18 years old at the time 
of her arrest, her membership in the Party was to be viewed 
simply as "youthful fervor" and he granted her a visa. Others 
who gave accounts of being helped by Foley include Zeev Es- 
trecher, Willi Preis, Heinz Romberg, Adele Wertheimer, and 
David Arians aged mother. After the war, Pollack testified 
that "the number of Jews who were saved in Germany would 
have been ten thousand times - yes, ten thousand - less, if a 
competent official* had occupied that post instead of Cap- 
tain Foley." Benno Cohn, head of the Zionist Federation in 

Germany, testified at the Eichmann trial in i960 that imme- 
diately after Kristallnacht, he frantically called his superiors 
in Jerusalem to find ways to save the Jews of Germany, add- 
ing: "Nevertheless we succeeded in getting a sizable number 
of Jews to Palestine. That was thanks to a man who is to my 
mind to be counted among the Righteous Gentiles ... Cap- 
tain Foley [who] did all he could to enable Jews to immigrate 
to Palestine.... One may say that he saved thousands of Jews 
from death." Foley's wife, Katharine, also related that during 
the Kristallnacht pogrom period, Jews were temporarily hid- 
den in their Berlin home. During World War 11, Foley's intel- 
ligence work included the interrogation of Rudolf Hess, Hit- 
ler's close aide who landed in Scotland in May 1941 hoping 
to strike a deal between Germany and Britain. In 1999, Yad 
Vashem awarded the late Francis Foley the title of Righteous 
Among the Nations. 

bibliography: Yad Vashem Archives M31-8378; M. Smith, 

Foley: the Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews (1999); M. Paldiel, Saving the 

Jews (2000), 53-60. 

[Mordecai Paldiel (2 nd ed.)] 

FOLIGNO, HANANEL (Da), apostate and anti- Jewish agita- 
tor in Rome in mid-i6 th century; his name after baptism was 
Alessandro Franceschi. Foligno was one of three apostates 
whose slandering of the Talmud to Pope *Julius ni resulted 
in its burning in 1553. When in 1555 the Jews of Rome were 
accused of a ritual murder (*Blood libel), Foligno insisted on 
their guilt. After a public confrontation between him and rep- 
resentatives of the Jewish community, Pope Marcellus ordered 
the reconsideration of the charge. In due course, the true cul- 
prit was discovered and punished. 

bibliography: Vogelstein-Rieger, 2 (1896), 146-51; Joseph 
ben Joshua ha-Kohen, Emek ha-Bakha (1895), 128, 133; rej, 4 (1882), 
95-96; F. Secret, ibid., 122 (1963), 182-3; I- Sonne, Mi Paulo ha-Revi'i 
ad Pius ha-Hamishi (1954), 66, 103-5. 

[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto] 


This entry is arranged according to the following outline: 



Folk Narrative 







Folk Song (Lyrics) 


Folk Proverb 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Folk Drama 


Ceremonial Life Cycle 
Ceremonial Jewish Year Cycle 








Varia: Synagogal and Home Ceremonial and Non-Ceremo- 
nial Objects 



Direct (Face-to-Face) Combat 

Compromise (Agreement and Treaty) 

Deceptive Stratagem 

Varia: Beliefs and Customs not Related to Cycles 



Jewish folklore can be denned as the creative spiritual and 
cultural heritage of the Jewish people handed down, mainly 
by oral tradition, from generation to generation by the vari- 
ous Jewish communities. The process of oral transmission 
took place alongside the development of normative, written 

Jewish folklore may be classified according to the three 
main vehicles of transmission: 

(1) Audio-oral, including the various branches of folk lit- 
erature and folk music (discussed in the article on *Music); 

(2) Visual, including arts, crafts, costumes, ornaments, 
and other material expression of folk culture; 

(3) Cogitative, including popular beliefs, most of which 
find their expression in customs and practices. 

The science of folklore ("folkloristics") is a discipline 
which studies the historic -geographic origin and diffusion of 
folklore institutions, their social backgrounds, functions, in- 
tercultural affinities, influences, changes, and acculturation 
processes and examines the meanings and interpretations of 
the institutions* individual components. 

Folklore is not transmitted through a single medium. 
Most folklore combines the three categories, one of which, 
however, usually predominates. Thus, for example, the cog- 
itative background of the commemoration of the Exodus 
from Egypt is expressed through rites, customs, and man- 
ners within the framework of the Passover festival. The main 
literal expression of the festival, however, the Passover Hag- 
gadah, is intertwined with audio-oral songs and legends and 
is recited at the seder which calls for special garb and ritual 
vessels, e.g., the cup of ^Elijah. These constitute the visual el- 

ements of the Passover ritual which is comprised of many 
folk components. 

The national cultural heritages of the gentile neighbors 
among whom the Jewish people has lived throughout its wan- 
derings and dispersions have been assimilated into Jewish 
folklore. While mutual intercultural contacts are evident in 
many realms, Jewish folklore has certain specific features com- 
mon to Eastern and Western Jews which are characteristic of 
the creative folk ego of the Jewish people. The Judaization and 
adaptation of universal traditions bear witness to the quali- 
ties, trends, and hopes of the Jewish transformers. Through a 
comparative study of neighboring cultures, normative Jewish 
religion, and folk evidence which is substantiated by the trans- 
mission of many generations and culture areas inhabited by 
Jews, the special character of Jewish folk tradition may be ap- 
prehended. This article is written from the viewpoint of com- 
parative folklore, which frequently reaches conclusions and 
interpretations at variance with those traditionally held. 


Jewish oral literature (in Hebrew and in the various Jewish 
languages: Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino, etc.) has been transmit- 
ted alongside the written literature, and both have exercised a 
mutual influence. Biblical literature (including the narrative 
tales in the Pentateuch, the legends interwoven into the fabric 
of the historical books, independent short stories such as the 
Books of Esther and Ruth, the gnomic (wisdom) literature, 
and the poetic literature) imbibed much from the oral heri- 
tage of the entire Near Eastern culture area. In sanctioning a 
written document (the Holy Scriptures), the sages differenti- 
ated between the holy writings and traditions which were re- 
garded as *Oral Law. Exodus 34:27, "... for after the tenor of 
these words I have made a covenant with thee. .. ," was inter- 
preted as (Git. 60b): "That which is byword of mouth, thou 
shalt not commit to writing." It was only with the failure of the 
Bar Kokhba revolt (135 c.e.), and the authoritative decision 
taken in the generation of Rabbi Akiva and his pupils, that the 
prohibition of committing to writing the oral traditions was 
revoked. The talmudic-midrashic literature of the tannaim and 
the amor aim is a mine of information of ancient Jewish folk- 
lore (mainly in Aramaic, which was then the spoken language 
of the people) handed down by word of mouth for hundreds 
of years before it was formulated. Rich folkloric material has 
also been preserved in postbiblical literature which was not 
transmitted in Hebrew: the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, 
the works of Philo and Joseph us, the New Testament, and the 
writings of the Church Fathers. 

The various genres of Jewish folk literature are (1) folk 
narrative, including folktales, legends, jokes, and anecdotes 
transmitted mainly by word of mouth; (2) folk songs, usually 
performed or directed by a folk singer, whose music or musi- 
cal interpretation has the approval and social sanction of the 
audience and whose text, music, and often gestures (hand- 
clapping) and folk dance movements constitute an integral 
whole between whose components it is hard to distinguish; 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


(3) proverbs and folk sayings which are part of gnomic (wis- 
dom) literature and are perpetuated by a large section of the 
population, including the common people, in their daily 
speech; (4) riddles, usually woven into the fabric of a prose 
narrative (folktale), but constituting an independent literary 
genre; (5) folk dramas, performed on an improvised stage on 
specific (festive) occasions by either professional or amateur 
groups, and composed of several literary folk genres (listed 
above: stories, songs, etc.), but constituting a genre in them- 
selves, evaluated according to folk transmission techniques. 

Folk Narrative 

The main kinds of universal folk narratives are also extant in 
the Jewish oral tradition, though the quantitative proportion 
between the various kinds differs in comparison with the re- 
spective proportion in the neighboring non-Jewish cultural 
areas. Thus the didactic story, and not the magic tale, is domi- 
nant in the Jewish folk narrative; similarly the legend in Jew- 
ish lore is a much more popular vehicle of expression than in 
general folklore. 

Folk narrative research in recent decades has, by and 
large, solved the main classification problems through index 
systems subscribed to by folklorists. Those systems are gen- 
eral and ethnic (local): type indices and motif indices which 
are appended to the folktale (Maerchen), legend (Sage), myth, 
and humorous lore of various cultural areas. Thus the genres 
of Jewish folk narrative should be defined and described ac- 
cording to the accepted general division, mainly based on 
Aarne -Thompsons (at) Type -Index and on Stith Thompson's 

myth ("a" motifs). Myths constitute the imaginative an- 
swers to mans queries about the universe (cosmogony and 
cosmology), the creation and ordering of human and animal 
life, his own past, etc. They are basically etiological folktales 
which try to explain various life and nature phenomena and 
their plot is set in the remote past, at the beginning of creation. 
The main heroes are supernatural beings (gods, demigods, and 
cultural heroes) who perform supernatural deeds. 

Most of the biblical narratives may, by this definition, be 
regarded as ancient Hebrew myths which, even after they be- 
came part of the "Written Law," continued to influence Jewish 
legendary lore, although most of the etiological elements were 
suppressed or omitted by normative monotheistic Judaism. 
The narrative elements in the Bible should be analyzed in the 
light of the rich repertoire of ancient Near Eastern mythologi- 
cal texts. Archaeological discoveries, text collections, and stud- 
ies on the ancient cultures and religions of the Near East (T.H. 
Gaster, S.H. Hooke, E.O. James, S. N, Kramer, J.B. Pritchard, 
G. Widengren, and others) have shed fresh light not only on 
ancient Hebrew oral literature, its transmission through sto- 
rytelling, and on the prebiblical dissemination of its narrative 
elements, but on ancient Hebrew folk religion, folk life, folk 
culture, and on the diffusion of their components. 

C.H. Gordons thesis that "Greek and Hebrew civiliza- 
tions are parallel structures built upon the same Eastern Medi- 

terranean foundation," stressing the Mediterranean diffusion 
by different oral vehicles, has not been accepted by biblical 
scholarship. The premise of general oral relationships between 
the Jewish and the Greco -Roman oral lore during the Helle- 
nistic and talmudic periods serves as a basis for any compar- 
ative approach to the myths as preserved in the apocryphal, 
pseudepigraphic, and talmudic -midrashic literatures. Many 
etiological motifs in later Jewish folktales are remnants of an- 
cient myths. In most cases they sanction newly invented or 
imported and Judaized customs, by stressing their antiquity 
and dating their origin and first observance to the creation, 
Noahs ark, the patriarchs, etc. Thus, for example, a midrashic 
etiological tale (pdRE 20) relates the custom of looking at the 
fingernails during the Havdalah ceremony (Sh. Ar., oh 298:3) 
to Adam, who, endowed with God-like wisdom, brought 
down fire and light from heaven. The resemblance between 
this legend and Greek (Prometheus) and cognate myths on the 
origin of fire (Motif a 1414) by means of theft - a culture hero 
steals it from its owner (Motif a 1415) - is evident (Ginzberg, 
Legends, vol. 5,113 n. 104). Similarly, most of the prevailing 
Jewish etiological stories explaining the origins of fascinat- 
ing and strange phenomena and of established customs lack- 
ing authoritative, written explanations, are elaborated biblical 
narratives which are based on universal mythical concepts. 
The process is also manifest in European folklore. Thus the 
original midrashic story (Tanh, Noah 13; Gen. R. 36:3-4; cf. 
Ginzberg, loc. cit, 190 n. 58) of Noah planting the vineyard 
with the help of Satan was transformed in European folklore 
into a typical etiological tale explaining the characteristics of 
wine (Motif a 2851). Its four qualities, as well as those of the 
drunken man, stem from the characteristic traits of the four 
animals sacrificed by Satan while planting the vineyard: the 
lamb, the lion, the monkey, and the pig. In Jewish and non- 
Jewish variants of the story some of the above animals are re- 
placed by the peacock, the billy goat, etc. Unlike most of the 
non- Jewish variants, which are of an etiological character and 
not of a moralistic nature, the Jewish variants are didactic, se- 
verely condemning intoxication - the cause of all sins and the 
ruin of individuals. 

animal tale (at 1-199). Many of the literary and oral Jew- 
ish fables were originally actual animal tales which reflected 
imaginative contemporaneous views on animal and plant life. 
(Animal tales which serve to illustrate daily life and to solve 
actual contemporary problems are transformed into moral 
fables by the added moral lesson.) The animal tale as an in- 
dependent narrative genre is at present alive only among Jew- 
ish Oriental raconteurs, but even there it is based on the tal- 
mudic-midrashic fable and the beasts represent human traits. 
The main heroes are the lion and the serpent; usually human 
beings are also involved. The fox from whom the talmudic- 
midrashic name of the genre, "fox fables," is derived, does not 
play an important role. 

ordinary tale (at 300-749). These stories are centered 
around supernatural beings who possess extraordinary knowl- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



edge and qualities enabling them to perform magic transfor- 
mations and to rule the powers of nature, They are set neither 
in time nor in place, Folktales served as entertainment during 
all stages of Jewish history. Motifs characteristic of folktales 
(cf. Gunkel) are found in many of the biblical stories: Samson, 
David and Goliath, Jephthahs vow (Motif S 241), but especially 
in the aggadic lore of the Palestinian rabbis who adopted them 
from oral local (Greek) tradition. 

Jewish raconteurs were both writers and disseminators 
of folktales: 

Writers. Some of the best-known universal folktales are as- 
sumed to be of Jewish origin. Folktales were derived from 
Jewish written sources: thus the story of King Solomons 
judgment (1 Kings 3:16-28) influenced the cycle of folk sto- 
ries about clever acts and words (at 920-929) and the Tobias 
story influenced the "Grateful Dead" cycle (at 505-508). In 
many cases the Jewish origin at first is not obvious and has 
been suggested only after penetrating analysis (Anderson, 
Goebel), for example (a) at 331, "The Spirit in the Bottle": a 
man frees an evil spirit imprisoned in a bottle, but instead of 
receiving the promised reward he is endangered by the spirit 
whom he then tricks back into the bottle (cf. Grimm no. 99); 
(b) at 332, "Godfather Death": Death endows a poor man, or 
his son, with the power to forecast how a sick person will fare 
according to the position of Death at the bedside, whether he 
is standing at the head or foot of the bed; Death is tricked, but 
avenges himself (cf. Grimm no. 44); (c) at 922, "The King and 
the Abbot": a shepherd substitutes for the priest and answers 
the kings questions (cf. Grimm no. 152); and many other tales 
focusing on religious problems (see below, Religious Tale); 
on cleverness: wit ("outwitting the witty"), humor, answering 
riddles, performing great feats, and being put to severe tests; 
and on wise conduct. 

Disseminators. The main Jewish contribution to the folktale 
was in the diffusion and dissemination of narratives from 
the East to the West. According to Thompson (cf. The Folk- 
tale, p. 17) the stories were brought by Jewish merchants from 
the East to Europe and became known first to the Jewish com- 
munities scattered throughout Europe. 

Disciplina Clericalis (about 1110), a Latin work by Petrus 
Alphonsi, contains the earliest Eastern folktales in Western lit- 
erature. Alphonsi, whose Hebrew name before his conversion 
to Christianity was Moshe Sefardi, was well versed in Eastern 
and Jewish traditional lore. The motifs in his work are found 
not only in medieval European folklore, but also in interna- 
tional narrative folklore (still extant today). 

Medieval Jewish scholars translated *Kalila and Dimna 
and Sindbad into European languages, the oral translations 
for narrating purposes preceding the literary written transla- 
tions (see ^Fiction). According to B.E. Perry the Book of Sind- 
bad (*Sindabar) originated in Persia from which it passed to 
India and was assimilated into the rich Hindu folk literature. 
Leading folklorists of the 19 th century (following Benfey) con- 
sidered India to be the home of the European folktale. Mod- 

ern scholarship however has shown that a direct chain of oral 
and written transmission links the Middle (including Persia) 
and Near East with Europe and that Jewish translators and 
storytellers were the main transmitters of Eastern (Islamic) 
culture to the Christian world. In modern scholarship there 
is full agreement between scholars of literature, both Jews 
(Epstein, Flusser, Peri, Schwarzbaum) and non-Jews (Holbek, 
Maeso, Quinn, Thompson), that Near Eastern folklore may 
have reached Europe directly through Jewish intermediaries 
and was not transmitted via India. 

religious tale (at 750-849). Playing a most important 
role among Jewish folktales, the two main themes of the re- 
ligious tale are theodicy ("Gods justice vindicated") and re- 
ward and punishment. Several of the widespread universal 
religious folktales are of Jewish origin; among the best known 
are at 759, "The Angel and the Hermit," which is representa- 
tive of the theodician tale, and at 757, "The Kings Haughti- 
ness Punished" or "The King in the Bath," which exemplifies 
the reward and punishment theme. In at 759 an angel com- 
mits many seemingly unjust acts which arouse deep aston- 
ishment and strong words of protest from his companion the 
hermit; the hermit, however, upon learning the truth is con- 
vinced that each of the strange deeds was just. In many Jew- 
ish "legendarized" versions of at 759 God, or the Prophet Eli- 
jah, plays the role of the angel, whereas the companion who 
learns his lesson ("The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His 
ways are justice," Deut. 32:4) is a hero in Jewish legend con- 
cerned with social justice: Moses (cf., Moses addressing God 
in Ex. 32:32 "Blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book"), *Joshua 
b. Levi, or Abraham *Ibn Ezra. Folktales starting with the 
hero's (a hasidic rabbi) enigmatic smile, whose significance 
is revealed as the plot unravels, also belong to this pattern of 
theodician tales. 

In at 757 a supernatural being (demon, angel, Elijah) 
takes the boasting kings place (or form) either by depriving 
him (in the bath) of his clothes or through other means. The 
wandering king (Solomon, Roderigo, Jovinian) is humiliated 
and rejected by all as a crazy liar; he is restored to the throne 
only when he repents of his haughtiness. According to Varn- 
hagen this folktale is of Hindu origin, but the talmudic-mi- 
drashic Asmodeus-Solomon legend (Git. 68b; tj, Sanh. 2:6, 
20c; PdRK 169a) has influenced most of the Jewish oral ver- 

The anonymous, often innocent, simpleton, around 
whom many religious tales originally centered, tends to be 
replaced by a historical, famous (talmudic, medieval, or lo- 
cal) sage, martyr, or scholar. The tales thus became part of the 
Jewish hagiographic lore. In their transitory stage many of the 
folktales are about one of the *Lamed-Vav Zaddikim, the 36 
anonymous and mysterious pious men, to whose humility, j ust 
deeds, and virtues the world owes its continued existence. 

the novella or romantic folktale (at 850-999). The 
novella in Jewish lore stresses the problem of fate. As marriages 
are decided in heaven (Gen. R. 68:3-4; Lev. R. 8:1), even before 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the bride and bridegroom were born, the question arises: Is 
this heavenly decision irrevocable or can it be changed? Thus 
the universal stories about heroes finding their way to each 
other, after overcoming often insurmountable obstacles, tend 
to become an integral part of Jewish matrimonial lore. 

realistic tale (at 1200-1999). Best known and the most 
widespread among the Jewish folklore genres, the realistic 
tale is mostly comprised of jokes and anecdotes depicting the 
comic aspects of life, especially as seen through Jewish eyes. 
The main heroes are fools, wits, misers, liars, beggars, trick- 
sters, and representatives of various professions. The point 
of the Jewish joke, seemingly concluding it, is often followed 
by a "hyperpoint" - some clever and sophisticated addition 
to the humorous story, stressing a new, often specific Jewish 
aspect. Though the humorous motifs are universal, there is 
less of visual (situational) humor in Jewish jokes than in uni- 
versal jests, and there is more of verbal humor, consisting of 
clever retorts, wordplay, "learned" interpretations of words 
and sentences, jests, and witty noodle stories. In most Jewish 
jokes the realistic background is typically Jewish, as are the 
heroes - well-known local wags (Hershele *Ostropoler, Motke 
Habad, Froyim Greydinger, Jukha, etc.) whose fame has spread 
far beyond the border of their original place of activity. There 
are also "wise" places as, for example, *Chelm in Poland, Linsk 
(Lesko) in Galicia, etc., whose "wise" inhabitants (in fact, 
fools) perform the same deeds as their "wise" colleagues - the 
inhabitants of Abdera (Greece), Schildburg (Germany), Go- 
tham (England), and other "cities of the wise." 

Among the droll characters of the Jewish jokes, typical 
"Jewish" professions and types of socioeconomic failures are 
well represented: schnorrers ("beggars"), shadhanim ("match- 
makers"), cantors, preachers, but mostly schlemiels and schli- 
mazels. Social misfits, their gawkishness, clumsy actions, and 
inability to cope with any situation in life make the listener 
enjoy his own superior cleverness (the feeling is often sub- 
conscious). A witty folk-saying distinguishes between the 
two characters: "A schlemiel is a man who spills a bowl of hot 
soup on a schlimazel." Whereas the word schlimazel seems 
to be a combination of the German word schlimm ("bad") 
and the Hebrew word mazal ("luck"), the origin of schle- 
miel is obscure and has given rise to many German-Yiddish 
folk etymologies. It is first mentioned outside of Yiddish 
in Adalbert von Chamissos famous German story Peter 
Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (1813) whose hero sold his 
shadow to the devil. Many Jewish stories try to identify these 
types; stories are thus told about Moyshe Kapoyr ("Moses Up- 
side-Down") - the hero of a comic strip in U.S. Yiddish news- 
papers in the early 1920s - and about similar heroes who are 
placed in a definite geographic -historical framework. Many 
of Shalom Aleichems folk types, Tevye the Milkman and 
Menahem Mendel, have been given the traits of an irrepress- 
ible daydreaming schlimazel. Benyamin the Third, a charac- 
ter out of the world of Mendele Mokher Seforim, is similarly 

The undertone of sadness and frustration underlining 
many Jewish jokes is probably rooted in the ceaseless strug- 
gle for survival in an anti- Jewish society; the laughter is thus 
often through tears. While the jokes and anecdotes carry a 
note of satirical (sometimes even biting) self-criticism, they 
are a means of consolation as well, either through minimizing 
troubles and hoping for a happy end ("a Jew will find his way 
out"; "the troubles of many are half a consolation"), or by re- 
lating stories about rich, successful, and influential Jews (the 
Rothschilds, Baron Hirsch, and Jewish dignitaries "a (person) 
close to the (royal) court," etc.), with whom the poor Jewish 
listeners identify. 

Jewish legend. Many Jewish folktales bear an exclusively 
Jewish national religious character, and their plot has no par- 
allel in general folklore. They include stories about the Ten 
Lost Tribes living in their own Jewish independent kingdom 
on the other side of the miraculous river *Sambatyon, and 
about travelers who have been there (*Eldad Ha-Dani, David 
*Reuveni, etc.); stories of attempts to find the Ten Lost Tribes 
and to identify them in remote parts of the world, especially 
among strange Jewish communities (the *Bene Israel, *Beta 
Israel, *Khazars); tales of blood libels and other false anti- Jew- 
ish accusations; imaginative descriptions of the Messianic age 
and attempts to hasten the coming of the Redeemer (through 
kabbalistic means, by prompting Elijah the Prophet to herald 
the Messiah); stories about the eternal longing for and aspira- 
tion to get to the Promised Land (through a miraculous sub- 
terranean passage, by "the jump of the way," etc.); tales about 
proselytes and the extraordinary circumstances of their con- 
version to Judaism. 

The legendary plot, which usually takes place in a defi- 
nite period and in a specified place, dominates Jewish folk 
fiction. Besides an extension of the biblical and the talmu- 
dic midrashic story, mainly through translating it in terms of 
contemporaneous circumstances of the storytelling society 
(by means of many anachronisms), this type includes many 
local legends. Its heroes are universal-Jewish characters (bib- 
lical, talmudic, and medieval: Elijah the Prophet, King Solo- 
mon, Rabbi Akiva, Maimonides, and Rashi) and local figures 
(*Judah Loew b. Bezalel (the Maharal) of Prague, R. Hayyim 
Pinto of Morocco, Abdallah Somekh of Baghdad, R. Shalem 
Shabazi of Yemen, etc.). The dominant narrative motif is su- 
pernatural: the miraculous salvation of a Jewish community 
by the folk hero who is a sage not only versed in the Bible, 
Talmud, and Jewish law, but can also perform miracles and is 
learned in practical Kabbalah. Over the past few generations, 
some of the local heroes have become universal Jewish he- 
roes, such as R. ^Israel b. Eliezer Baal Shem Tov, the founder 
of the hasidic movement, who initially was legendary in East- 
ern Europe only; and R. Hayyim b, Attar ("Or ha-Hayyim"), 
whose legend originated in Morocco where he was born, and 
about whom legends were also woven in Jerusalem where he 
died. Certain heroes have become narrative stereotypes: King 
Solomon is the wise judge; Hershele Ostropoler, "the learned 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



wag" who finds clever solutions for every problem and trial; 
Jukha, the innocent simpleton; and so forth. Many legends of 
the neighboring culture areas, revolving around non- Jewish 
figures (Harun al-Rashid, Nasir al-DIn, Baron Muenchhausen, 
etc.) became a setting for Jewish heroes. Gentile characters in 
Jewish legends are mostly anonymous and referred to by title: 
king, vizier, etc. If named, they form a historical substantia- 
tion to the supernatural motifs. There are, however, non- Jew- 
ish heroes who play a dominant role in legends stressing the 
Jewish-gentile confrontation and conflict. One of them is Na- 
poleon who recurs in about 150 Yiddish legends, folk songs, 
sayings, etc. (cf. Pipe). 

The Jewish legendary folk hero is depicted as a pious and 
righteous man who "does justly and loves kindness" (cf. Micah 
6:8) and his folk biography thus follows the international pat- 
tern (miraculous birth, dangerous exposure, growth in an 
alien environment, unintentional revelation of divine quali- 
ties, etc.). There are many common motifs between Jewish 
folk legends and tales revolving around biblical and aggadic 
exemplary heroes: Abraham, Joseph, Moses. The hero's good 
and "hearty" intention (kavvanah) are of utmost importance 
("God requires the heart"), and he is therefore "holy" enough 
to perform (even willingly) miracles for the sake of the needy 
and oppressed. Many medieval legends which originated 
in Jewish oral tradition, as for example tales about a Jewish 
pope (Elhanan), or the *Golem of Prague, etc., have not sur- 
vived in this medium, but since the end of the 19 th century 
have been incorporated in chapbooks. On the other hand, 
many hasidic wonder tales which were first written found 
their way to raconteurs and became an integral part of Jew- 
ish oral literature. 

Folk Song (Lyrics) 

Songs whose lyrics are in Jewish languages and were transmit- 
ted orally from generation to generation are defined as Jewish 
folk songs. The classification may be according to (1) the folk 
language of the culture area in which the song was written 
(Yiddish of East Europe, Ladino of the Mediterranean area, 
etc.); (2) its musical style (Western, Oriental, etc.); (3) the text 
(contents). Most of the Jewish folk song collections and stud- 
ies have adopted the last classification, yet the text of the folk 
song and its music are so intrinsically intertwined in Jewish 
folklore that no clear-cut division can be made. 


books, especially the psalms and their "musical directions," 
influenced Jewish music, song, and dance and stressed their 
divine origin. The biblical names and actions associated with 
singing and playing music (Jubal, David playing before Saul, 
and his miraculous self- playing harp in the aggadah, Elisha 
feeling Gods hand upon him while the minstrel played, the 
playing and singing prophets and levites, etc.) generally have 
a pleasant, positive connotation; thus the song (lyrics and 
melody) has always been part of the Jewish ritual. Throughout 
the ages this religious role has been extended from the limited 
realm of the synagogue (prayer melodies, biblical cantillation, 

etc.) to all aspects of Jewish religious and sociocultural life. 
The singing of the whole assembly strengthened the feeling 
of unity and of the values which were the common heritage 
of all Jews. Most songs of a religious nature stem from writ- 
ten Hebrew liturgical texts of the siddur or mahzor. Many of 
them are, however, either bilingual (combining the Hebrew 
text and the Jewish vernacular) or sung in the vernacular only. 
Often the folk song expands or interprets the liturgical text. 
Thus, for example, the Hebrew verses of Yismah Moshe are 
interspersed with Yiddish queries, and the song becomes a 
Hebrew- Yiddish dialogue whose lyrics are Yismah Moshe be- 
mattenat helko. Vi hot men em gerufn? Ki eved ne'eman karata 
lo. Ven iz dos gevezn? Be-omedo lefaneikha al har Sinai, etc. 
("Let Moses rejoice over the gift of his portion. How did they 
call him - A faithful servant You called him. When did this 
happen? When he stood before You on Mount Sinai ..."). The 
difference between the refrain (Yismah Moshe), repeated by 
the audience, and the single strophes, sung by individuals, is 
emphasized by their melodic distinction. Many of the religious 
and devotional folk songs, sung as a part of the *zemirot home 
ritual, became table songs for festive ritual meals at weddings, 
circumcisions, etc. They stress the close relationship between 
God, His Chosen People, the Torah and its precepts, and the 
Sabbath and festivals. As these were sung in the vernacular, 
all - the learned and the uneducated, young and old, women 
and children - could actively participate. 

Although the melody of the religious folk song is strongly 
influenced by the artistic idiom of the *hazzan, the folk sing- 
ers and the audience that often joined them considered the 
lyrics the main feature of the song. On the other hand, many 
sophisticated groups (especially among the Hasidim) regarded 
the words (even when in Hebrew) a limitation of the divine 
nature of the song and stressed the value of the "pure" (with- 
out text) niggun (see *Hasidism, Musical Tradition). Many of 
the melodies, showing traces of local non- Jewish folk tunes, 
in their Jewish adaptation are characterized by a meditative 
mood. Traditional biblical cantillation motifs and later Orien- 
tal Jewish liturgies led to considerable changes in the adapted 
and "Judaized" folk tune, and this process was similar to that 
which had influenced the words. 

secular folk song. In spite of the negative attitude of 
normative rabbinic Judaism toward communal secular sing- 
ing by both sexes, stemming from the talmudic saying kol 
be-ishah ervah ("a woman's voice is a sexual incitement"), the 
secular folk song was part of the life of the individual, the 
family, and the society on many occasions. The lyrics are very 
diverse and cover all aspects of Jewish life: the biblical past, 
the Messianic future, the year cycle, the lifespan ("from the 
cradle to the grave"), problems of livelihood, work and frus- 
tration, social protest, national hope, love, separation, luck, 
and misfortune. 

Texts of the East European (Yiddish) folk song have 
been collected (An-Ski, Beregovski, Cahan, Ginzburg-Marek, 
Idelsohn, Prilutski, Rubin, Skuditski), popularized (Kipnis, 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Rubin), studied, and analyzed (Cahan, Idelsohn, Mlotek, 
Weinreich) more than any other Jewish folklore genre. Recent 
annotated collections (Cahan, ed. Weinreich; Pipe, ed. Noy), 
as well as attempts at scholarly synthesis (see in bibl. Cahans 
Studies; Rubins Voices; Mlotek), see the Yiddish folk song 
as a well-defined artistic folk genre, both in its melodic (cf. 
Idelsohn, Sekuletz) and in its poetical form and contents. The 
lyrics are emotional, tender, and introspective, even if some 
of them, especially children's rhymes, are at times coarse, sa- 
tirical, and comic. The melody is, almost always, in a minor 
key infusing the most joyous and even frivolous words with a 
touch of tenderness and sadness. According to Y.L. Cahan, the 
oldest among the Yiddish folk songs, going probably back to 
the European Renaissance period, are love and dance songs. 
Older Hebrew influences, stemming mainly from the Song of 
Songs and from remnants of love songs as preserved in talmu- 
dic literature (cf. Taan. 4:8-15 th of Av song; Ket. 17a - a song 
"Before the Bride in the West," Palestine) are also evident. 

Only a few collections and studies deal with the non-Yid- 
dish, Oriental- Jewish folk song. Comparatively great attention 
has been paid to the folk song of the Yemenite Jews (Idelsohn, 
Ratzhabi, Spector) and to the romance and the copla (Spanish 
ballad or popular song) as sung in Ladino-speaking Sephardi 
communities dispersed all over the world: Tetuan, Spanish 
Morocco (Alvar, Armistead-Silverman, Palacin); Salonika, 
Greece (Attias); Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. (MacCurdy-Stanley); 
etc. (cf. also Avenary, Ben-Jacob, Gerson-Kiwi, Molho, Pelayo, 
Shiloah). The study of the Judeo-Spanish romancero ("a col- 
lection of ballads or romances"; Katz), is a very young branch 
of Jewish ethnomusicology (cf. *Ladino Literature). 

Modern Palestinian and Israel folk songs are currently 
alive in Jewish folklore. The Holocaust put a tragic end to the 
Yiddish folk song which has become a subject for social-his- 
torical (Dvorkin), linguistic (Hrushovski), and folkloristic 
(Mlotek, Noy) studies, but no longer exists as a living tradi- 
tion. The assimilation and emigration of Oriental Jewish com- 
munities, uprooted from their places of birth and traditional 
folkways, led to a similar process with regard to the Oriental- 
Jewish folk song transmitted in Ladino, Aramaic (by Kurdis- 
tan Jews; cf., Rivlin), and Judeo-Arabic dialects. Even if these 
non-Hebrew Jewish languages are still spoken by some young 
Jews, they are not their sole language of expression. Thus it 
would seem that only the Hebrew Jewish folk song, alive in a 
Hebrew- speaking society, is likely to survive. 

The Palestinian folk song is characterized by two main 
traits: (1) the Hebrew lyrics; (2) the main theme, which is na- 
tional. The central idea in the folk song focuses on the return 
of the Jewish people to their old-new homeland. The hope for 
the return is variously expressed and the trials and tribulations 
undergone are as diverse as the songs. Most of the songs were 
written by Palestinian authors and composers between the two 
world wars. Many others, dating back to the beginnings of the 
Jewish national revival and to the rise of the Zionist movement 
in i9 th -century Russia, are strongly influenced by the songs of 
composers and bards like A. *Goldfaden and E. *Zunser. Some 

of the themes are: the yearning for Zion, the virtues of physi- 
cal labor, self-defense, and pioneering in order to rebuild the 
land into a national home for the wandering Jew. 

The Palestinian folk song celebrates the struggles of the 
young and ardent halutz in his homeland: defense and stand- 
ing guard (haganah and Trumpeldor songs); road building 
("Hakh Pattish"); and agricultural work (Sabba Panah Oref) 
and love songs (Sahaki Sahaki Al ha-Halomot) were imbued 
with idealistic pathos alluding to national duties and hopes. 
Many of the Palestinian folk songs served as accompaniment 
(with or without words) to the various folk dances, The main 
musical influences on Palestinian folk songs (and folk dances) 
have been hasidic-Slavic, Oriental-Sephardi, Palestinian-Ara- 
bic, and Jewish-Yemenite (*Music in Erez Israel.). 

The destruction of the East European Jewish communi- 
ties, the establishment of the State of Israel, the War of Inde- 
pendence, the 1967 Six-Day War, and other heroic deeds and 
achievements inspired many songs, but it is doubtful whether 
most of these will survive either orally or in folk memory 
during the coming generations. The songs (see Katsherginski 
in bibl.) written and sung in the ghettos and extermination 
camps during World War 11 were disseminated by oral trans- 
mission over wide areas, but their lifespan was limited. In the 
light of the above definition of a folk song, all songs composed 
and popular in Israel would be called chansons or folk-styled 
songs (pizmonim). On the other hand, many Yiddish, Ladino, 
and other Jewish folk songs, which were adapted for use in 
Erez Israel (the text translated verbally or with modifications 
and the music also adapted), started a new folk lifespan in 
their Hebrew garb. 

The establishment of musical research institutes by uni- 
versities in Israel and the development of the study of liturgi- 
cal poetry and music into scholarly disciplines, mainly in the 
training centers for cantors of the Jewish Theological Semi- 
nary, the Hebrew Union College, and the Israel Institute for 
Religious Music led to the study, analysis, and elaboration of 
many aspects of music and song in folk traditions. Data are 
collected and research is being continued in the field of East 
European Jewish musical folklore, stressing the role of folk 
musicians (klezmerim) and folk jesters (badhanim). Other as- 
pects emphasized are the social role of folk music, the inter- 
relationship between sacred, liturgical, and hasidic music and 
religious folk songs (Geshuri, Vinaver), the music of the vari- 
ous Oriental- Jewish ethnic groups and the interrelationship 
of Jewish and non-Jewish folk music (Gerson-Kiwi; Idelsohns 
Thesaurus; Tunisia-Lachman; Sephardi-Algazi; L. Levy). Many 
works on Jewish music and musicians (Avenary, Gradenwitz, 
Fater, Holde, Idelsohn, Rabinovitch, Werner) include studies 
on the lyrics of the folk song and on folk music. 

The influence of Jewish folk songs on Jewish and non- 
Jewish modern composers is still to be investigated. Jews are 
among the most important composers of American jazz and 
the Jewish folk heritage might have had a considerable effect 
on their compositions. Many Yiddish folk songs entered the 
main popular musical stream of the U.S. and are sung by lead- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



ing performers and millions of people (Bei Mir Bist Du Schein, 
Joseph-Joseph, etc.): through their penetration into a foreign 
setting, they have become alienated and disconnected from 
their original Jewish tradition (see also Music and Musical 
Life in Israel in *Musie, and the various articles on the differ- 
ent ethnic communities). 

Folk Proverb 

A gnomic statement current in tradition, the folk proverb usu- 
ally suggests a course of action or passes judgment on a situ- 
ation. Originally, "the wit of one," it becomes in oral folklore 
"the wisdom of many" and thus is part of the didactic oral 
folk heritage. The folk saying is genetically related to prover- 
bial lore. Most of the Jewish proverbs have been handed down 
(since the Book of Proverbs and other Hebrew wisdom litera- 
ture) in written collections, and in many cases the oral char- 
acter of the transmitted verse is doubtful. There are however 
more than one hundred talmudic-midrashic proverbs (cf. 
Sever) which begin with the statement: haynu deamerei inshei 
("this is what people say"), indicating that the saying had pre- 
vailed in oral tradition. Proverbial lore was also deeply rooted 
in ancient Israel and the ancient Near East and there are many 
parallels of single biblical proverbs found in cuneiform prover- 
bial texts (cf. Gordon, pp. 55 2 f.); in the Egyptian gnomic litera- 
ture attributed to Amen-em-Opet; in the story (teachings) of 
*Ahikar; and in others which testify to the wide diffusion and 
the oral transmission of many biblical proverbs. 

Most of the Jewish proverb collections are compilations 
of single statements, aphorisms, and dicta, excerpted from the 
talmudic-midrashic and medieval literatures, or from spe- 
cific post-biblical gnomic treatises, which have been trans- 
mitted in writing. The tannaitic Avot, for example, inspired 
many similar compilations. The classification and arrange- 
ment of the material is mostly in alphabetic order following 
the first word or the "catch word" rather than the subject mat- 
ter. Only in recent decades have genuine collections of folk 
proverbs, committed to writing from the living oral tradi- 
tion of the various Jewish communities, been published. The 
most comprehensive among them is I. Bernstein's collection 
of Yiddish proverbs, followed later by paroemiological collec- 
tions and studies of Ayalti, Beem (Jewish-Dutch), Einhorn, 
Hurwitz, Kaplan (World War 11 death camps and ghettos), 
Landau, Mark, Rivkind, Stutshkov, and Yoffie. Other culture 
areas and ethnic groups represented in the various proverb 
collections and studies are: Judeo-Arabic (Yahuda); Judeo- 
Spanish (Besso, Kayserling, Luna, Saporta y Beja (Salonika) 
Uziel, Yahuda); Bukharan (Pinhasi); Neo-Aramaic from Iraqi 
Kurdistan (Rivlin, Segal); North African (Attal); Samaritan 
(Gaster); Yemenite (Goitein, Nahum, Ratzhabi, Shealtiel); 
Palestinian-Hebrew as current in the new kibbutzim and vil- 
lages (Halter). 

Jewish paroemiology has mainly been concerned with 
the written proverb, especially the Jewish and Arabic sources 
of the medieval collections and compositions of gnomic 
folklore as, for example, the i4 th -century rhymed Prover- 

bios Morales compiled by R. Shem Tov b. Isaac (*Santob de 
Carrion de los Condes) for King Pedro the Cruel of Cas- 
tile (1350-1369); Solomon ibn *GabiroPs Mivhar ha-Peninim 
("Choice of Pearls"), and *Samuel Ha-Nagid's Ben Mishlei (cf. 
the studies of Ashkenazi, Braun, Davidson, Habermann, Rat- 
zhabi). Only a few monographic studies have been devoted 
to particular proverbs, folk sayings, definite (Jewish) themes 
(Attal, Avida, Galante, Jellinek, Ratzhabi), and to proverbial 
lore in the writings of famous authors as, for example, in the 
work of Agnon and Shalom Aleichem (Toder). Any collection 
of Jewish proverbs and sayings in oral tradition shows strong 
biblical and talmudic-midrashic influences. Thus many He- 
brew and even Aramaic literary proverbs and sayings pene- 
trated the oral lore of the Yiddish and Ladino-speaking Jew. 
In many proverbs, extant in the vernacular, the Jewish allu- 
sions and references are so dominant that the proverb can- 
not be understood by a gentile without adequate explanation. 
Universal proverbs in their Hebrew form often acquired an 
original "Jewish touch." The Hebraization of the maxim "in 
vino Veritas" (nikhnas yayin yaza sod, "wine entered, secret 
left") is based on the numerical value (gematria) of the words 
"secret" and "wine" (yayin, ]" = (sod) 70 = 110). Several re- 
cent Hebrew proverb compilations have used a comparative 
approach in their study of Jewish and foreign proverbs on the 
same theme (Blanks tein, Cohen, Sharfstein). 


In ancient Jewish literature the riddle formed part of the nar- 
rative plot, as Samsons riddle in Judges 14:14 (Noy, Tur-Sinai, 
Wuensche), as well as the midrashic riddles through which 
the Queen of Sheba "came to test Solomon" (1 Kings io:iff.; 
cf. Ginzberg, Legends, 4 (1913), 145 ff.; Schechter). In medi- 
eval Hebrew literature the riddle is however an independent 
genre and the riddles of Abraham Ibn Ezra, * Judah Halevi, 
and Judah *A1-Harizi are sophisticated aphorisms which were 
never part of the living oral tradition. Side by side with the tra- 
dition of literary riddles which were often rhymed and multi- 
strophed, there were short and simple oral folk riddles. In the 
folk riddle proper the story in the question was always paral- 
leled by the same or another relevant tale in the answer (so- 
lution), and the two parts could have existed independently. 
"Catch" questions and witty queries cannot be regarded by the 
folklorist as folk riddles, although informants and collectors 
often tend to term them as such. 

There are only a few collections of Jewish riddles stem- 
ming from oral tradition in East Europe (An-Ski, Bastom- 
ski, Einhorn) and Yemen (Ratzhabi), as the genre was never 
popular with Jewish adults in those culture areas. Many of 
the riddles refer to biblical events and demand a knowledge 
of Hebrew and Jewish law and lore of the solver. 

Folk Drama 

Before World War 11 Jewish folk players put on folk dramas 
in many East European towns and villages, especially on 
Purim, or during the whole month of Adar. In most places, 
including yeshivot and klaus, the taboo on playing, deco- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


rations, and masks (cf., second commandment) was lifted 
during the Purim period to allow for merrymaking through 
stage performances. Playing in the open before a general and 
unselected audience was however often opposed by the local 
religious authorities who prohibited the performing of femi- 
nine roles by men. The *Purim-Shpil were therefore acted by 
youngsters of the lower social classes: tailor apprentices and 

There are many manuscripts, and printed copies, and 
descriptions in different works of various Purim shpils. Only 
one fourth of them dramatize the story of the Book of Esther. 
Most of them adapted such Pentateuchal stories as the sacri- 
fice of Isaac (see *Akedah) and the sale of Joseph in the light of 
the midrashic elaborations and interpretations of the original 
biblical narrative and according to folk fantasy. 

Several folk plays depict postbiblical and even contem- 
porary plots, among them the personal tragedy of Rabbenu 
Gershom b. Judah (Cahan, pp. 246-257), explaining why he 
imposed the ban on polygamy, and confrontations between 
Jews (merchant, innocent girl) and non-Jews (robber; cf. 
Lahad nos, 23-24). 


Folk arts and folk crafts comprise the realm of Jewish visual 
folklore, most of it belonging to ceremonial art. Though the 
second commandment ("Thou shalt not make unto thee a 
graven image ..." Ex. 20:4; Deut. 5:8) imposed a taboo on 
plastic arts, associated in the ancient Near East mainly with 
idols and idol worship, it did not influence the aesthetic view 
of normative Judaism (see *Art). Throughout the ages Jews, 
in their homeland and in the Diaspora, have created beauti- 
ful vessels, dresses, and other artifacts for the performance of 
the Torah commandments. 

Folk art objects are closely connected with (1) the cer- 
emonial life cycle (from the cradle to the grave); (2) the cere- 
monial Jewish year cycle (Sabbath and the festivals); (3) varia, 
including the synagogue, the Jewish home, and other non- 
ceremonial artifacts. 

Ceremonial Life Cycle 

Of the four main festive occasions in the life cycle of a Jew, 
the wedding is the most picturesque: the marriage contract 
(*ketubbah) which is frequently a parchment, the bridal can- 
opy (huppah), the "good-luck" wedding goblets ("cups of bless- 
ing"), the special wedding clothes and jewelry (amulets, rings, 
etc.) were richly wrought with Jewish and universal love and 
fertility symbols, traditional images, and biblical verses. The 
other three life cycle ceremonies are also represented in Jew- 
ish folk art: 

(1) birth, by childbirth amulets, circumcision plates, and 
richly ornamented circumcision objects, particularly the han- 
dle of the knife, ^Elijahs chair, embroidered cushions; 

(2) *bar mitzvah, through frequently engraved and deco- 
rated cases (battim) for the phylacteries and the embroidered 
bag for the tallit; 

(3) death, through traditional attire and various special 
objects of the *hevra kaddisha including wine cups for the so- 
ciety s traditional annual festive meal (Seventh of Adar). 

Ceremonial Jewish Year Cycle 

Most of Jewish ceremonial art centers around the occasions 
of the *Sabbath and the festivals. 

sabbath. The kindling of the Sabbath lights inaugurates the 
Sabbath in the Jewish home. In Western Europe star-shaped 
hanging oil lamps were used; these became so typical for the 
Jewish home that they were called Judenstern ("Jewish star"), 
Since the 18 th century, the suspended oil lamps have been re- 
placed by candles and candlesticks and candelabra which have 
become precious family heirlooms. 

The holiness of the Sabbath is proclaimed by the ancient 
Kiddush benediction (dating back to the Second Temple pe- 
riod) which is made over a cup of wine. The cup thus became 
a symbol of holiness, solemnity, and happiness in family life 
and is frequently made of silver, though it may be of other 
metals and even of glass. Usually in the form of an inverted 
dome, preferably with a stem and base, it became customary 
to inscribe the Kiddush cup with biblical quotations refer- 
ring to the Sabbath, the festivals, light (Isa. 24:15; Prov. 6:23; 
20:27), an d th e wine blessing. Special tablecloths, plates, and 
embroidered covers for the two Sabbath loaves are used. The 
Havdalah ceremony which concludes the Sabath and each fes- 
tival includes wine, spices (besamim), and a twisted candle. 
The spice container, hadas y one of the most popular ceremo- 
nial artifacts ("no other ritual object shows as many varia- 
tions," Kayser, p. 89), has many forms. The most common, 
the tower, originated among West European Jewish commu- 
nities. It is reminiscent of the city hall tower where, in medi- 
eval times, spices and aromatic plants, which were then very 
precious, were stored. Other forms are: pear-shaped contain- 
ers, turrets, boxes, fruits, windmills (Holland), fish (North 

passover seder. The most important domestic event 
among all the Jewish festivals is the Passover seder. The table 
is festively set following certain prescriptive requirements: 
symbolic food (*mazzot, *maror, etc., recalling the fate of the 
people of Israel in Egypt and their meal on the eve of their 
liberation) which are served on special plates and dishes; a 
cloth-covered tray, or a three-tiered plate for the three matzah 
symbolizing the priests, levites, and common Jews; the wine 
cups of glass or silver used for the drinking of the obligatory 
four cups during the Passover meal; and a special cup, usu- 
ally the most precious, the cup of Elijah. The plates and other 
vessels are richly wrought with floral patterns, formulistic or- 
naments, and biblical scenes. 

The Haggadahy the ceremonial text of the seder night, 
since it is only used in the home and not in the synagogue, 
was not subject to normative scrutiny and therefore has be- 
come the most illuminated of all Hebrew ceremonial prayer 
books. Most of the illustrations are traditional, transmitted 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



from generation to generation by folk artists, copyists, and 
printers. Other Passover ceremonial items include an inscrip- 
tively embroidered cover for the mazzot and decorated *omer 
scrolls used in the synagogue for counting the 49 days (seven 
weeks) between the second day of Passover and Shavuot (cf. 
Lev. 23:15-16). 

shavuot. The paper cuts used for window decorations are 
the folk art characteristics of Shavuot. As most of them have 
designs of roses, symbolizing Israel (cf. Song 2:2,16, and the 
exegetical Midrashim thereto), they are called by the Yiddish 
folk term reyzele ("little rose"). 

high holidays. The main ceremonial object of the High 
Holidays, the *shofar has many interpretations in Jewish ritual, 
the most common being its role as a reminder of the sacrifice 
of Isaac. It also calls man to repentance and spiritual regen- 
eration. As the horn of any animal of the sheep or goat family 
may be used for the shofar, it has various shapes depending 
upon the local fauna. While it is forbidden to embellish the 
shofar, either through painting, or by covering its mouthpiece 
with metal, it may be carved and on several old specimens in- 
scriptions (biblical sentences referring to the shofar, Ps. 81:4, 
5; 98:6, etc,) were found. 

The traditional garb for the High Holidays is the kitel, a 
loose garment of white linen, reminiscent of the shroud and 
reminding the congregation of death and the last judgment. 
It is held together at the waist with a belt whose silver buckle 
is inscribed with a biblical verse relevant to the occasion or a 
quotation from the *Day of Atonement service. 

sukkot. The only significant ritualistic object used dur- 
ing the *Sukkot festival is the box in which the etrog is kept. 
Generally assuming the shape of the fruit, there are also other 
forms. Another kind of folk art, especially folk painting, con- 
centrates on the decoration of the sukkah. Besides fruits, veg- 
etables, and the seven "kinds" the Holy Land has been blessed 
with, the sukkah is also embellished with pictures, verses and 
proverbs, trimmings, cutouts, and other ornaments. 

hanukkah. The main ritual characteristic of the eight-day 
Hanukkah festival is the kindling of lights. The Hanukkah 
lamp, containing eight oil burners or candlesticks (the sham- 
mash - the auxiliary candle - is not counted), developed in 
the West from a simple Roman oil lamp into very elaborate 
forms. Two definite types can be distinguished: (1) "the bench 
type," which is usually small, has a back wall, and is often 
richly and symbolically ornamented; (2) the standing form 
(candelabrum) which developed during the Middle Ages and 
is reminiscent of the menorah in the Temple, with the main 
difference that instead of seven branches, the Hanukkah lamp 
has eight (with the shammash making up the ninth). In the 
synagogue, the Hanukkah menorah is placed to the right of 
the ark, corresponding to the location of the golden menorah 
in the Temple. The smaller Hanukkah menorah for the Jewish 
home was developed from the seven-branch standing cande- 

labrum in the synagogue, since the 18 th century also adapted 
for the use of candles. 

Many of the motifs of the richly wrought Hanukkah lamp 
are associated with the miracle of the festival: the victory of 
Judah the Maccabee over the Syrians ("Greeks") in 165 b.c.e, 
and the burning of the sacred oil in the Temple seven days lon- 
ger than its actual measure, which was sufficient for one day 
only. The ornaments are mostly lions (symbol of Judah), the 
figure of Judith holding the sword and the head of the slain 
Holofernes, Judah the Maccabee, cherubim, and eagles. The 
most common inscriptions are biblical, such as Exodus 25:37 
and Proverbs 6:23, associated with the Hanukkah benedictions 
and prayers, and verses from the hymn Mabz Zur ("Mighty 
Rock of my Salvation"). 

The long nights of Hanukkah were ideal for games and 
play which, prohibited during the year (the main reason: they 
were a waste of time which should be devoted to the study of 
the Torah), were allowed on this occasion. The most popu- 
lar game, especially with children, was trendl (dreidl, a top; 
in modern Hebrew sevivon) whose four sides were inscribed 
with the Hebrew letters IP ,H ,3 X standing for the words: 
DIP rpn /VW 02 (nes gadol hayah sham, "a great miracle oc- 
curred there"; in Israel the IP is replaced by D, the initial of HD 
(poh, "here")). The dreidl is an example of how foreign mate- 
rial was ingeniously Judaized: the original medieval dice used 
in Germany by gamblers was inscribed with the four letters: 
N, G, H, and S, which are the initials of nichts ("nothing"), 
ganz ("all"), halb ("half"), and stellein ("put in"). The four 
Hebrew parallel letters of the dice which became sanctified 
have the same numerical value as that of the word "Messiah" 
(rPtPTp = tPrUH = 358) and appropriate conclusions were conse- 
quently reached. Cards were also Judaized and special "Jew- 
ish" card sets, inscribed with Hebrew letters and illustrated 
with "Jewish" pictures, were used. 

purim. The Book of Esther is read in the synagogue from a 
parchment scroll (megillah) in a traditional chant. It has one 
roller, as distinct from the Torah scroll, which has two. Since 
the word for God does not appear in the Book of Esther art- 
ists felt free to illustrate it and it is thus the only biblical book 
in Judaism whose text, while in the form of a scroll, is tradi- 
tionally illuminated. The cylindrical containers for the manu- 
script scroll, frequently of silver, are also richly ornamented. 
The main themes in the Scroll of Esther illustrations are scenes 
from the story: Haman leading Mordecai while Hainan's wife 
(Zeresh) looks on; Haman and his ten sons on the gallows, 
etc.; all of them express the wishful thinking of the Jewish mi- 
nority, oppressed and humiliated by many Hamans through- 
out the ages. 

As Purim is dedicated to remembering the poor, char- 
ity, and "sending portions" (Esth. 9:19) and gifts to friends 
(mishloah manot or Yid., shalakh munes), special plates, often 
made of pewter, are used for these purposes. Usually quota- 
tions from the Book of Esther are inscribed on the plates as 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


well as scenes from the narrative. Here too the triumph of 
Mordecai is the most popular motif. 

Varia: Synagogal and Home Ceremonial and Non- 
Ceremonial Objects. 

Many ceremonial objects, whose origin (secular or religious) 
is often very vague, center around the synagogue and the Jew- 
ish home. The mezuzah (doorpost, cf, Deut. 6:9; 11:20), for 
example, is undoubtedly a Jewish home ceremonial object. 
A parchment scroll on which are sacred Pentateuchal por- 
tions, it is placed in a special metal or wood container and 
fixed on the upper part of the right doorpost of the house or 
occupied room (cf. Landsberger). The mezuzah has however 
many of the characteristics of the *amulet intended for pro- 
tection. Most of the Jewish sages and rabbinic authorities did 
not approve of amulets being worn for purposes of protec- 
tion against sickness, the "evil eye," and misfortune, and con- 
demned the "magic" texts placed inside the amulet as non- 
Jewish superstition. The amulet could however be worn as an 
ornament, and it was particularly common among the Jewish 
population of the Mediterranean countries and of the Islamic 
culture areas. The ornaments on these amulets were often of a 
purely religious nature (priestly crowns, the tablets of the law, 
seven-branched candlestick) which did not hint at the protec- 
tive qualities of the ornament. 

prayer book. The prayer book links the Jewish home, 
where it is usually kept as a family treasure, and the syna- 
gogue, where it is mainly used. The covers and bindings, of- 
ten made of silver, gilded, or engraved, and inscribed with 
a biblical quotation and the owners name or initials, are the 
prayer books main adornments. 

decorations in the synagogue. The main synagogal 
ornaments and ritual objects are often part of the synagogues 
architecture, Thus, for example, the laver (particularly used by 
the kohanim before the ceremony of blessing the congrega- 
tion), often decorated, is built into the wall of the synagogue 
at the entrance, while the shivviti (the first word in Ps, 16:8: "I 
have set the Lord always before me") and mizrah ("East," des- 
ignating the direction of prayer) are movable objects (plates 
or paper cutouts) hung on the wall facing Jerusalem or put on 
the cantors stand which also serves as a sounding board. 

The religious -ceremonial center of the synagogue is the 
holy *ark containing the Torah scrolls. Since the synagogue 
is compared to "... a little sanctuary in the countries" (Ezek. 
11:16), the holy ark is reminiscent of the Holy of Holies (Kodesh 
ha-Kodashim) in the Temple. All objects associated with the 
Temple and the Torah were particularly cherished: the ark is 
ornamented with the two tablets of the Law, often wrought 
with inscriptions, rampant lions, and priestly (blessing) hands, 
etc.; the arks curtain is made of costly brocade, velvet, or 
silk, frequently inscriptively embroidered (silver and gold) 
with the names of the donors; the wooden or metal (silver) 
case in which the Torah is kept among Eastern Jews, and the 

Torah mantle among Western Jews, are adorned with bibli- 
cal and liturgical quotations surrounded by formulistic, tra- 
ditional designs (floral or the seven "kinds" the Land of Israel 
is blessed with). 

The *Torah ornaments consist of a crown (silver, often 
partly gilded and set with precious stones) wrought with bib- 
lical scenes and inscribed with donors' dedications; two finials 
("rimmonim? pomegranates) to which small bells are attached; 
the silver pointer used in the Torah reading so that the parch- 
ment is not touched by hand; a richly decorated and inscribed 
^breastplate denoting the occasion of the usage of the Torah 
for congregational reading (Sabbath, a specific festival). The 
two columns of the sacred portal of the ark (* Jachin and Boaz) 
are the main symbol that associates the ark with the ancient 
Temple (cf., Goldman). 

folk dress and costume. The Jewish folk dress and cos- 
tume are part of the secular folk culture, if it is assumed that 
the origin of dress has its roots in mans desire to adorn him- 
self. According to the Midrash (Tanh. B., Lev. 76) "Gods glory 
is man and man's glory (ornament) is his clothes" (cf. Shab. 
113a, 145b; Ex. R. 18; 5; A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash, vol. 4, p. 86); 
thus all Jewish ethnic groups have concentrated on a particu- 
lar type of dress. Most data about Jewish costumes of the past 
were gleaned from illustrated minhagim books or illuminated 
Haggadoty anti-Jewish Christian pamphlets, and travelers' ac- 
counts. Ethnographical fieldwork on extant folk dresses of 
Jewish communities is a very young discipline in the realm of 
Jewish ethnography and folkloristics (see *Dress). 

Until the establishment of the State of Israel and the "in- 
gathering of the exiles" from the various culture areas, the 
main interest of Jewish art "scholars" centered around cer- 
emonial art and European specimens. Thus the first Jewish 
museums established in Germany (end of the 19 th century) 
contained less than one percent of non-European material. 
With the growth of Jewish ethnography, the intensive study of 
folklore, sociology, and acculturation of the "tribes of Israel," 
and the establishment of specific ethnographic and folklore 
museums in Haifa and Tel Aviv there has been a rapid increase 
of interest in secular Jewish folk art in general, and in that of 
the non-European Jewish communities in particular. While 
pre- Wo rid War 11 folk art scholarship was mainly interested 
in historical roots (influence of Temple objects and symbols 
on the *Dura Europos synagogue and on later synagogue art; 
relation between traditional literary sources and ceremonial 
art, etc.), modern ethnographers are more interested in ma- 
terial culture in general (including secular folk art) and in 
ethnocultural and geographical comparisons. The folk mu- 
seum collections and their various inventory and exhibition 
catalogs are still the most important source of knowledge of 
Jewish folk art in the past. These are often verified and sub- 
stantiated by the testimonies of eyewitnesses or recollections 
of those who can delve into their own past or have memories 
of what they were told. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 




Folk beliefs and customs constitute one creative complex. Be- 
lief, stemming from subconscious fears and desires and from a 
longing for psychological security, generates the wish to fight 
the causes of those fears which are man's hidden enemies. The 
strategies and tactics of mans warfare against his own fears 
which proved their "efficiency" and were transmitted (usu- 
ally approved by social convention) from one generation to 
the next became folk customs. The customs continued to exist 
even after the beliefs that served as their basis had long been 
forgotten. Sometimes beliefs which have become detached 
from the customs that grew out of them, or from the phe- 
nomena which they explain, are regarded by the "progressive" 
society as "superstitions," due to changes in the society's view 
of the world and to a new interpretation of the phenomena 
in question. The novel explanation is in tune with the tech- 
nological era whose society is fighting the old "superstitions" 
and "etiological folktales" lacking empirical proof. 

Any period of transition, whether renewal and change 
of status in the cycle of the year (the summer and winter sol- 
stices, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, etc.) or in the hu- 
man life cycle (passage from embryo to child, from life to 
death, the first menstrual period, etc.) is always fraught with 
sociopsychological "crises" around which fears, anxieties, and 
inhibitions concentrate. These crises give rise to customs and 
rites which evolve in order to overcome the evil forces hostile 
to mankind that these crises seemed to set into motion. Thus 
ritual complexes, ceremonies, and festivals develop. 

According to this interpretation the Jewish rites of pas- 
sage in the life and year cycles manifest an interaction be- 
tween universal beliefs, stemming from the realm of nature, 
and Jewish religious and national beliefs originating in the 
sphere of Jewish thinking and culture. The customs revolv- 
ing around these rites would thus be rooted mainly in sym- 
pathetic magic which gradually adopted its Jewish character, 
mainly from the historical traditions related to the period of 
the nations consolidation. Folkloristic research into Jewish 
customs and the folk beliefs underlying them therefore in- 
volves a study of their universal "prehistory" and their "Juda- 
ized" history. In universal practice the pouring of water on a 
stone, a sympathetic magic device to ensure rain and with it 
the fertility of the earth, animals, and mankind, is paralleled 
by a ritual performance of the sexual act. Judaized, the water 
libation rite as found in the Jewish normative books of laws 
and customs is a sacred ritual which was an integral part of the 
Sukkot celebrations (Simhat Beit ha-Shoevah, Feast of Water 
Drawing) in the Temple. 

Most of the folk beliefs and customs concentrate on the 
life and year cycles and are usually considered according to 
these two groupings. Another category includes beliefs and 
customs not associated directly with one of the cycles - folk 
medicine, social beliefs, and social customs. The beliefs and 
customs which center around the Jews life cycle, constituting 
the Jewish rites of passage, and around the general year cycle, 
comprising the Sabbath and the festivals, have throughout 

the ages undergone the same process of adoption and adap- 
tation as other aspects of Jewish folklore. Thus the life-cycle 
"crises" in Judaism have universal-biological (*birth, com- 
ing of age, ^marriage, menopause, death) and corresponding 
Jewish ritualistic (^circumcision, *bar mitzvah, *wedding, 
*burial) implications, as have the Jewish festivals and com- 
memorative days. 

The customs and their underlying folk beliefs discussed 
below are considered mostly from the point of view of their 
origin and function. The classification is according to their 
primary nature and to their similarity to the practices of hos- 
tile confrontation extant in prehistoric societies and in prim- 
itive intertribal warfare. Hostile confrontation may thus be 
divided into three main types: (1) direct (face -to -face) com- 
bat; (2) compromise (agreement and treaty); (3) deceptive 

Common to the three types of warfare is the belief that 
a person endowed with occult powers can, at propitious mo- 
ments, compel and overcome supernatural, hostile, and harm- 
ful powers (*demons, mazzikim) and force their submission. 
Jewish literature never associates (ta'amei minhagim) Jewish 
folk customs and normative customs with their primitive and 
universal origin which gave rise to the magical elements inher- 
ent in them. Only customs of other peoples, usually pagan - 
neighboring culture or those rejected and fought against - are 
called magical and superstitions (darkhei Emori, "the Ways of 
the Amorites"). However, despite the legitimation of Jewish 
practices through association with biblical verses, hermeneu- 
tically explained or Judaized by other means, the belief in evil 
spirits (see ^Demons) has remained basic to Judaism, and in 
many folk customs their magic nature is still clearly evident. 
As the existence of demons was presupposed, even in Jewish 
normative legislation (cf. ruah in Shab. 2:5; Er. 4:1, etc.), belief 
in them was not limited to the uneducated classes. This holds 
especially true in culture areas where the belief in evil spirits, 
which are hostile to mankind, was deeply rooted among the 
non- Jewish neighbors. 

Direct (Face-to-Face) Combat 

Some of the means with which spirits may be combated are 
specific colors (white, red) light, sound, and objects (iron, 

Demons usually dwell in dark places, ruined buildings 
(Ber. 3a, b), at the bottom of wells (Lev, R. 24:3), caves, dark 
and shadowy recesses (cf., the word riltt 1 ?^ zalmavet, originally 
meaning "darkness," as for example in Jer, 13:16; or in Job 12:22, 
interpreted as ni?p ^? zel mavet "shadow of death"). They shun 
the light and therefore act at night. The Talmud (cf. Ber. 43b) 
commands that a person should not walk unaccompanied in 
the dark, but by the light of a torch or by moonlight. Simi- 
larly, the wedding, as well as other festive processions, was ac- 
companied with torches and candles because of envying and 
hostile spirits. The Jewish traditional explanation (cf., A.I. 
Sperling, Taamei ha-Minhagim (1957), p. 407, no. 959) gives 
it an exclusively Jewish character: the gematria value of the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


two candles carried by the two best men is 500 (double n[e]r 
13 + "13), which is equal to the numerical value of Gods first 
blessing to Adam and Eve 1211 1"ID (peru u-revu y "be fruitful 
and multiply" = 500), Another explanation (ibid. no. 960) as- 
sociates the wedding candles and torches with "the thunder- 
ings and the lightnings" at the revelation at Mount Sinai (Ex. 
20:18), comparing the earthly ties of the human pair with the 
eternal bond of God and the Torah. A national modification 
of this wedding custom maybe seen in the Jewish-Italian cus- 
tom recorded at Pesaro and Modena (cf. D. Kaufmann, in rej, 
24 (1892), 289; Gaster, The Holy and the Profane, 110) where 
the bridegroom used to be accompanied by a man carrying 
a torch to which were attached six more lights, three on each 
side of the main flame. The allusion is to the seven-branched 
menorah in the Tabernacle and Temple, giving the wedding a 
Jewish-national character. 

Spirits may be confronted with a white object since the 
color white frightens them away. This notion gave rise to many 
customs; for example, the white garments of the bride and 
bridegroom. The Jewish explanatory tradition, which regards 
the white nuptial attire as a symbol of innocence and peni- 
tence (cf. Isa. 1:18), since the espoused are on the threshold of 
a new "chapter in life," is a relatively late and sophisticated ex- 
planation (cf. Sperling, no. 957) of the universal white, as the 
statutory color of festive attire (cf. Cicero, De Legibus, 2:18-45: 
"White is the color most acceptable to gods"). The Roman cus- 
tom harks back to the more ancient folk belief. The Jewish ex- 
planation associating the wedding day, a day of joy, with that 
of death, when the deceased is buried in white shrouds, is also 
a late interpretation (Kolbo no. 75). The custom of dressing the 
dead in white was common in ancient Greece (cf. Pausanias 
4:1341), but there the white was to guard the dead against the 
powers of darkness and not a means of purification and a sign 
of penitence. The universality of the usage (Gaster, op, cit, 
11-12), however, indicates that only powers who live under the 
cover of darkness may be subdued by light. 

Spirits may be frightened away by sound. Their abodes 
cloaked in eternal silence (cf. Ps. 115:17, where the dead are par- 
alleled with "those who go down into silence"), the demons 
themselves are mute creatures who are scared by such an alien 
element as noise. Much of the ritual and secular music per- 
formed at the various "crises" in a mans life cycle and in the 
natural year cycle stem from the belief that sound is a magic 
means to ward off demons (cf. also the common expression le- 
arbev ha-Satan ("to confuse Satan") associated with the blow- 
ing of the shofar on the High Holidays; rh 9b). Even some of 
the nonsense words in Jewish children's rhymes (cf., An-Ski, 
Pipe, ed. by Noy) and folk songs (as, for example, "lu-lu" in 
the refrains of cradle songs) may go back to the ancient, non- 
Jewish magic incantations, pointing to the functional charac- 
ter of this kind of folk poetry. 

Another universal weapon directed against demons is 
iron. Spirits were thought to live in caves, mountains, and un- 
der stones, which "are cut by iron" (cf. bb 10a). Pieces of iron 
(sometimes even a real weapon - a sword, a dagger, or a sim- 

ple knife) are thus placed in the bed or under the pillow of a 
woman in confinement and later in the child's cradle. In PC. 
Kirchner's childbed scenes in Juedisches Ceremoniel (1734), a 
sword is prominently displayed beside the bed. 

The circumcision knife especially is regarded as an effec- 
tive weapon against demons. According to folk belief the night 
before the circumcision is the most critical for a mother and 
child, and a vigil, a "night of watching" (Yiddish: vakhnakht), 
is usually observed. Children of the heder, accompanied by 
their rebbe, keep watch at the bedchamber and chorally chant 
prayers, mainly Keriat *Shema and Jacob's blessing to Ephraim 
and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16). The circumcision knife is often 
kept under the mother's pillow throughout the night. 

The common usage of the sword as a real weapon against 
invisible demons (Gaster, op. cit., 3-11) led to many compen- 
dia of spells and magical formulae being entitled "the Sword" 
plus the name of a famous hero and wizard. Harba de-Moshe 
("The Sword of Moses," ed. M. Gaster, 1896) is one of the 
most famous and oldest Jewish collections of inscriptions of 
charms. In the folktales of Kurdistan Jews and in other Cen- 
tral Asian Jewish legends, the heroes go on quests to find the 
sword of Moses with which the redemption may be hastened 
(cf. D. Noy, Sippurim mi-Pi Yehudei Kurdistan (1968), 44-47, 
59-60 and the aggadic details on the magic sword of Methu- 
selah, in Ginzberg, Legends, 5 (1947), 165 f.). In Afghanistan 
the iron sword is replaced by a cane called "Elijah's staff," (cf. 
Yeda-Am, 25 (1962), 64) not only because the Jews were for- 
bidden to use swords but also to give a Jewish character to 
universal magic objects. 

Iron is also used as a direct weapon to combat demons 
during the tekufah (the solstice or the equinox) when, ac- 
cording to folk belief, the waters may be poisoned by a drop 
of blood spilt by evil spirits from above (cf. Trachtenberg, 
Jewish Magic and Superstition (1961), 313, no. 12). Pieces of 
iron are placed on all vessels containing water and kept in 
the house to avert this danger. In Jewish lore the use of iron 
(Sperling, loc. cit., no. 900) is associated with the *notarikon 
of the Hebrew word for iron /JIS (BaRZeL), standing for the 
four mothers of the 12 tribes: Bilhah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Leah, 
who (and not the iron) avert all danger. Another explanation 
(Yesod Emunah, p. 384) changes the original text of Deuter- 
onomy 8:9 from by\2 JT32X TO K fBJ to rpJJK ^"Qttf pflj, thus 
adding to the notarikon the letter ttf to include the two other 
matriarchs, Sarah and Rebekah (the 1 standing both for Ra- 
chel and Rebekah). 

Salt, a symbol of mortality, is also an effective "weapon 
with which demons may be repulsed" (cf. Ezek. 16:4; Shab. 
129b). Other means to ward off demons and evil spirits are 
such symbols of life, health, and regeneration as herbs, honey, 
and oil. These usually play an important role as magic objects 
in folktales (cf. Thompson Motif Index, vol. 6, s.v.) and as help- 
ful remedies in folk medicine. 

Some of the demons are identified by name. Thus the 
child-snatching witch in Jewish folklore, *Lilith (often re- 
garded as Satan's wife), seizes newborn babies and kills or in- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



jures their mothers. She also represents the "dream girl" who 
consorts with men in their sleep; because she is not impreg- 
nated through the sexual dream, the embittered and frustrated 
spirit takes her revenge upon the lawful wife and mother. In 
Jewish legend she was the first wife of Adam but after a quarrel 
deserted him. She was, however, overpowered by three angels 
(Sinoi, Sinsinoi, Samengelof) sent by God to bring her back, 
and she never enters a house in which their names are writ- 
ten. This story, with its emphasis on the three names, is found 
in most of the written or printed Hebrew amulets (known in 
Western countries as the kimpettsetl (corruption of the Ger- 
man Kindbettzettel, "childbed-charm")) which were hung in 
the lying-in chamber. Another kind of kimpettsetl is called Shir 
ha-Maalot ("Song of Ascents"), because it contains Psalm 121 
(including verse 6, "The sun shall not smite thee by day, nei- 
ther the moon by night"), which is one of the verses of the Shir 
ha-Maalot of the Book of Psalms (chs. 120-134). 

Compromise (Agreement and Treaty) 

Many Jewish customs go back to the notion that the vital and 
essential can be preserved by giving up the marginal and less 
important. In many cases the original offering (sacrifice), in- 
tended to appease demons, became highly institutionalized 
religious customs and rites in which Gods or his represen- 
tatives* holiness and superiority is acclaimed and exalted (cf. 
^circumcision, which is a direct "sign treaty" between God 
and man; tributes to the priests, *terumot> and to the levites, 
maaserot; etc.). 

Similarly, the custom of shaving a bride s head may also 
be explained as a sacrifice of a part in order to keep and to 
protect the whole. In many cultures, hair is regarded as a life 
index (Thompson, Motif Index, d 991, e 174, 12) which pos- 
sesses an independent soul and is the seat of the vital spirit (cf. 
the Samson story). The belief in the magic power of hair as the 
seat of mans "life force" may have given rise to the taboos on 
cutting hair during the first year (or three years) of an infants 
life, and the shearing of pebt (sidecurls). According to ritual 
("halaqa") the hair is cut after a year or three and is burned; in 
Jewish folklore the ritual takes place usually on *Lagba-Omer, 
at the grave of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai in Meron. 

Deceptive Stratagem 

Many customs stem from the notion that a wise and learned 
man can deceive the demons, who are stronger but more stu- 
pid than mankind, and thus gain the upper hand in a struggle 
with them. Various customs are therefore aimed at effecting 
an artificial change in a man's identity so that he may not be 
recognized by evil spirits or their representatives and messen- 
gers (the *Angel of Death). While in most customs the change 
is merely that of the name, this may exercise a profound influ- 
ence on the persons ego, personality, character, and destiny. 
Meaningful changes of name often foreshadow the course of 
human destiny and reflect cosmic changes, evidence of which 
is already found in the Bible (Abraham and Sarah, Gen. 17:5; 
Jacob, Gen. 32:29; Joshua, Num. 13:16). In a talmudic story 
(Yoma 83b) Rabbi Meir refused to pass the night in an inn 

because the innkeepers name, Kidor, was homonymic to a 
"negative" verse in the Bible (Deut. 32:20: T\ftT\ JIDDHri "IB '3, ki 
dor tahpukhot hemmah - for they are a very forward genera- 
tion, children in whom is no faith) and thus forebode trouble. 
A divine decree may be altered by changing a persons name. 
The well-attested custom of changing a sick persons name in 
order to bring about his speedy recovery (cf. Sefer Hasidim 
(1957), 245) is still a common practice among all Jewish eth- 
nic groups. The evil forces may also be deceived by "selling" 
sick children to others so that they assume the buyers name 
(see mgjv, 5 (1900), 18). The naming of the newborn child af- 
ter a strong beast, a lion (aryeh) or a bear (dov)> or a harmful 
animal, the bee (devorah), is also in many ways meant to de- 
ceive the evil spirit who is thus frightened away. Many of the 
naming practices (bestowing theophoric names or the name 
of a relative who passed away, so that the original name bearer 
may protect the newborn) stem both from the deceptive and 
from the compromising concepts. The compromise basis to 
the custom denotes homage to the supernatural forces as an 
inducement for their protection and to pacify and appease 
them through tributes. 

Customs relating to sympathetic magic and contagious 
magic stem from a combination of the compromise and the 
deceptive trends. Thus by imitating the deeds of a supernatu- 
ral power man admits its superiority and through his imita- 
tion pays tribute to the spirit. At the same time man incites 
the evil forces to act in his favor by challenging their power of 
action. The foolish spirits in trying to prove themselves play 
into mans hands. 

Compromise and deceptive elements are also basic to 
the use of magic objects through which attempts are made to 
cause transformations in nature or in man. Man in using an 
object (part of an animal, plant, etc.) which the spirits have en- 
dowed with magic power imitates the evil powers and thereby 
shows his humility and submissiveness. On the other hand, 
he often uses his newly acquired power to combat the spirits 
from whom his own power now emanates. Many devices have 
thus been invented to overcome sterility and barrenness pre- 
sumably imposed on man by malevolent supernatural forces 
who are strong enough to prevent sexual intercourse from re- 
sulting in conception. Plants or animals which were thought 
to have fertilizing properties were commonly used as aids to 
conception. Among the plants eaten were mandrakes and 
apples; the most popular animals were cocks and fish. Rem- 
edies such as touching a woman already with child, swallow- 
ing the foreskin of a newly circumcised infant, drinking the 
water with which a corpse has been washed (thereby trans- 
ferring to the womb some of the life which has departed from 
the dead), and crawling under a gestating mare are based on 
contagious magic. They presuppose mans admission of the 
superiority of the object which originates from supernatu- 
ral forces. These cures for barrenness (collected from Jewish 
informants, cf. Patai, "Jewish Folk-cures for Barrenness" in 
Folklore, vol. 4, p. 248; idem, "Birth in Popular Custom," in 
Talpiothy 9 (1965), 238-260; Gaster, op. cit., p. 4), which are 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


not attested in normative Jewish halakhah y but are strongly 
opposed by it, still reflect general usage. In general folk cul- 
ture and beliefs, the mandrake, for example, is regarded as a 
peculiarly potent aphrodisiac and, as such, it is referred to 
in the Bible (Gen. 30:14 ff.; Song 7:14), probably because its 
root strikingly resembles the human form. Similarly the meat 
of fish was thought to induce fertility because of its pro- 
nounced philoprogenitive tendencies (cf. Gen. 48:16). Crawl- 
ing under a mare was a means through which a woman could 
absorb some of the fertility of the mare which gestates for ten 

Besides Judaized explanations and interpretations, there 
are many magic objects which are peculiarly Jewish. The sight 
of the ritual circumcision knife or a bowl of water placed un- 
der Elijahs chair at the circumcision ceremony drives spirits 
away. In folk medicine water in which the kohanim washed 
their hands before blessing the congregation, especially on the 
Day of Atonement, is a powerful cure for barrenness and other 
misfortunes. A uniquely Jewish practice or its explanation may 
sometimes have linguistic origins. Thus, for example, willow 
leaves which form part of the Hoshana Rabba rite induce con- 
ception not only because of their sympathetic magic qualities, 
paralleling the fertility of nature (prayer for rain) with human 
fertility, but because the willow (Hliy - aravah) and the word 
seed (V1J - zero) have the same numerical value (277). 

Many general practices are Judaized merely by the use 
of Hebrew (usually biblical verses), the holy tongue, which is 
believed to be the language of the Creator and the heavenly 
hosts and as such is a potent weapon against demons. It is of- 
ten used by Christians and Arabs in their incantations. 

A Jewish folk ceremony usually combines with many 
local non- Jewish magic practices and objects. Thus, for ex- 
ample, among German-speaking Jews a child is given a secu- 
lar name on the fourth Sabbath after birth at the Hollekreisch 
ceremony. The invited guests, men in the case of a male birth 
and women in that of a female, range themselves in a circle 
(German Kreis) around the cradle. The baby is lifted thrice 
into the air while the guests call out each time Holle! Kreisch! 
and while appropriate biblical verses are recited. The magic 
circle wards off Frau Holle, a succubus in German mythology 
who attacks children. (Jewish folk etymology associates the 
word Kreis either with Nip, "call" or yip, "tear.") The lifting 
is a survival of the concept that newborn babies must also be 
delivered from the womb of Mother Earth who gave birth to 
Adam, the first man (Gen. 2:7) and from which, according to 
folk legends, children emerge (cf. Midrashim and Rashi to Job 
5:23 and Ginzberg Legends, vol. 5, page 50 note 148). It is also 
reminiscent of the concept that infants are symbolically sac- 
rificed to the heavenly powers. On the other hand the biblical 
verses from Ecclesiastes 5:14 ("As he came forth of his moth- 
ers womb, naked shall he go back as he came") and Job 1:21 
("Naked came I out of my mothers womb and naked shall I 
return thither") endow the lifting custom with symbolic and 
ethical meaning through its counterpart practice, to deposit 
the dead in the ground soon after death. 

A Jewish adaptation of a universal custom often also 
comprehends the national character of the Jewish people, 
stressing the everlasting bond between the nation and the 
Land of Israel. To plant a tree at the birth of a child (a ce- 
dar for a boy and a pine for a girl) is a Jewish birth custom 
which fell into desuetude, perhaps because the people became 
alienated from the soil and the Land of Israel. The two trees 
were cut down at marriage and used in the construction of 
the hupp ah or bridal bower (cf. Git. 57a). The original uni- 
versal custom stems from the general concept of the "exter- 
nal soul" (Thompson, Motif E. 710) which associates the life 
of man with some far-away object. This is a deceptive means 
whereby the hostility of the spirits may be diverted from their 
real targets. The Jewish interpretation stresses the Jew's roots 
in the Holy Land. 

The specific Jewish character is also evident in the prac- 
tice of placing a sachet of earth from the Land of Israel into 
the coffin of a Jew. The sachet serves as a substitute for actual 
burial in the Holy Land and ensures the earlier awakening of 
the dead on the Day of Resurrection. Since the resurrection 
will start in Zion, the buried need not roll to Zion before be- 
ing resurrected. The dead are nevertheless buried with their 
feet toward the East so that they may be immediately on their 
way to the Land of Israel after resurrection. (This custom is 
also rooted in the basic concept of deception in which a part 
sanctifies the whole - pars pro toto.) 

Judaizing tendencies exist especially with regard to cus- 
toms and folk beliefs which are fundamentally contradictory 
to Jewish ethical teaching and thus threaten the Jewish ethnic 
ego. The pronounced Jewish character of betrothal and wed- 
ding ceremonies resulted from their refinement of the purely 
sexual relationships between man and woman. Nevertheless 
the Jewish rites of marriage have throughout the ages in all 
the culture areas where Jews have lived been accompanied by 
popular general practices aiming to ward off the evil spirits 
who envy man and want to abort his propagation (see *Lil- 
ith). The customs were, however, not adopted mechanically, 
but imbued with distinctive Jewish characteristics by incor- 
porating Scriptures into the audio-oral prayers accompanying 
the rite, and in the Judaized explanation of the origin of the 
customs. Thus, for example, the bride and bridegroom must 
wear special wedding dresses and ornaments which originally 
were intended to protect them against evil spirits who abhor 
specific colors (white) and specific objects (iron). These have 
however acquired symbolic and aesthetic values. The clothes 
worn at the wedding are usually new and appropriate to the 
new phase of life; the brides veil is not meant to hide her but 
is reminiscent of Rebekah who "took a veil and covered her- 
self with it" (Gen. 24:65) when she first met Isaac, and is a sign 
of modesty. The customs of shaving the brides head before 
going to the huppah (and wearing a sheitl (wig)), and of her 
limping like an animal so as to seem blemished were origi- 
nally intended to deceive the jealous spirits by showing them 
an ugly person not worth fighting for. Explanatory literature, 
however, invested these practices with deep ethical meaning: 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



man should not pay attention to outer form but inner value. 
Similarly, the customs of strewing ashes on the bridegrooms 
head and the breaking the glass at the wedding ceremony, 
which also have origins in general folklore, were interpreted 
as "reminder(s) of the destruction of the Temple." They were 
also meant to remind man of his vanity (memento mori). 

In Israel, modern social life, especially in the secular sec- 
tor and in kibbutz society, has stimulated the formation of 
new customs and the adaptation of religious ceremonies to a 
secular society which wants to keep the traditional, national 
folkways. This is evident, for example, in the bar mitzvah cer- 
emony whose religious significance in a secular society is re- 
duced but not eliminated. Since non-observant Jews do not 
"lay tefillin? which is the most outward sign of the bar mitz- 
vah ceremony and the Jewish initiation rite, regarding them 
as a remnant of an ancient religious object (a kind of amulet 
containing scriptural verses), attempts have been made to re- 
vitalize the rite with other external symbols and the concept of 
tefillin has been completely eliminated. Under the initial im- 
petus of the Reform movement, the individual ceremony has 
been substituted by a collective "confirmation" ceremony simi- 
lar to that of the Christian rite. This takes place at the *Shavuot 
festival, chosen because it is the traditional date of the giving 
of the law on Mount Sinai, and consequently the proper sea- 
son for adolescent boys and girls to celebrate their initiation 
into full Jewish adulthood. As the Shavuot festival coincides 
with the end of the school year, the ceremony, at times, bears 
the character of a graduation. In Israel the collective bar mitz- 
vah has been introduced in nonreligious kibbutzim. The cer- 
emony takes place after the children have performed some 
task, usually socioeducational, imposed upon each individ- 
ual child (or pair) by the community, school, or youth move- 
ment (e.g., a weeks stay in a new settlement with a newcom- 
ers family in order to help them; or in a religious yeshivah in 
order to learn Jewish ways strange to them). The bar mitzvah 
child then has to write a composition on his experiences. He 
further relates his adventures during the performance of the 
task at the "confirmation" and the lessons derived therefrom 
are discussed by the whole assembly. These attempts, as well 
as the endeavors to introduce new agricultural festivals of a 
secular nature: Hag ha-Gez ("the Feast of Sheepshearing"), 
Hag ha-Keramim ("the Feast of the Vineyard," a "renewal" of 
the ancient Tu be-Av festival) have not been functioning long 
enough to become an integral and crystallized part of renewed 
or newly invented Jewish socio-cultural folkways, even in a 
limited segment of Jewish society. The artificial character of 
the new folk customs, as well as that of modern Israeli dances 
and folk music, is still evident. 

Varia: Beliefs and Customs not Related to Cycles 

A small proportion of Jewish customs and their underlying 
folk beliefs are not directly connected with the annual life 
cycle or with the crises of passage in mans life. Among these 
the Jewish customs pertaining to diet, nutrition, and food 
(including the biblical distinction between kosher and non- 

kosher food; the taboos of eating meat and milk together) and 
folk medicine practices are the two most important clusters 
of customs. Attempts have been made to relate them, to re- 
gard the dietary laws as part of ancient hygiene prescription, 
and to consider folk medicine and food customs as means of 
overcoming anxieties and fears. 

folk medicine. Folk beliefs and practices (remedies) for the 
prevention and cure of diseases have been transmitted by Jew- 
ish communities from generation to generation, even where 
there were normative medicine and physicians. The Bible rec- 
ommends the use of the mandrake to produce fertility (Gen. 
30:14). No decisive differentiation existed between the various 
ways of ensuring health and fertility and of combating disease 
and death: asking the doctors advice, praying, and using folk 
remedies were all curative means emanating from God, the 
only healer (cf. Ex. 15:26). In Tobit (6:78) smoked liver, heart, 
and the gall of a fish are recommended as a cure for casting 
out a demon or evil spirit. Similar practices still prevail among 
Kurdish and Persian Jews and are indicative of the antiquity 
of many of the accepted folk cures. 

Evidence of the widespread use of folk medicine in Pal- 
estine and Babylonia during the early centuries c.e. can be 
found in talmudic-midrashic literature. Magic practices and 
amulets received a Jewish "touch" through the use of biblical 
verses and by stressing the efficacy of relevant psalms. The ter- 
tian fever, for example, was to be cured with an amulet con- 
sisting of seven sets of seven articles hung around the neck 
(Shab. 67a). Amulets were also used against epilepsy (Shab. 
61a); these were later sanctified and Judaized through bibli- 
cal inscriptions. The concept that a cure may be effected by 
transferring the disease to animals, found so frequently in 
general folk medicine, is also present in Jewish folk medi- 
cine. According to talmudic sources the patient was recom- 
mended to go to a crossroad, pick up the first ant with a bur- 
den that he saw, and place it in a copper tube which was to be 
covered with lead and sealed. The tube should then be shaken 
and an incantation chanted: "What thou earnest on me, that 
I carry on thee" (Shab. 66b). Although practices of this kind 
were disapproved of by rabbinic authorities who regarded 
them as "Amorite rites" (folk practices alien to the spirit of Ju- 
daism), they persisted; most of them are based on principles 
of sympathetic magic. In the Middle Ages there is evidence of 
a more widespread use of folk medicine among Jews. There 
are many folk prescriptions in the Sefer Hasidim (13 th cen- 
tury), most of them derived from the contiguous Christian 
culture. The remedy against premature birth was for a wife 
to wear a piece of her husbands stockings or waistband (a 
practice of contagious magic found in German folk medi- 

There are many folk medicine manuscripts extant from 
the late Middle Ages (16 th - 18 th centuries) which contain pre- 
scriptions against fever and epilepsy. The mysterious nature 
of these diseases seems to have attracted the special attention 
of folk doctors in various culture areas. Some prescriptions 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


deal with the improvement of family life, inducing love and 
fertility. Blood, a frequent element in general folk medicine, 
is rarely, if ever, used among Jews except in the case of nose- 
bleeding where the actual blood lost is sometimes baked into 
a cake and, following the principle prevailing in sympathetic 
magic, is given to a pig (Sefer Refubt, 14b). 

Besides folk medicine, only a few customs are unrelated 
to any of the two main cycles of the Jewish year and life. Most 
of them have a distinctive Jewish character and have been 
based on Jewish legends and traditions. Thus, for example, 
feeding the birds in Eastern Europe on the winter Sabbath 
when the section on manna is read (Ex. 16) is associated with 
the legend that birds helped Moses defeat his opponents who 
wanted to prove that the Lawgiver had told a lie about manna. 
The same legend (cf. Ginzberg, Legends, 3 (1953), 46-47) also 
gave rise to the custom in Eastern Europe to feed birds on 
Shabbat Shirah when the section containing the Song of Moses 
(Ex. 15) was read in the synagogue. 

Another social custom prevalent among Jews is to say 
"God bless you" (the exclamation asuta meaning "health") to 
anyone who sneezes. This custom is associated with the leg- 
end that in antiquity sneezing was a sign which forebode the 
sneezer s forthcoming death, but which no longer prevailed 
after the time of Jacob (cf. Ginzberg, Legends, vol. 5, 364, note 
357). The origin of the custom, however, is not confined to Jews 
(Trachtenberg (1939), 306). 

Jewish folklore and Jewish religion have always influ- 
enced each other. Often adapted from foreign sources, Jew- 
ish folklore was profoundly imbued with the Jewish religious 
spirit but in turn left its mark on Jewish religion. The religious 
practices extant in the various Jewish communities long ago 
freed themselves from their underlying superstitious beliefs 
and bear the character of monotheistic Judaism. However, in 
Jewish communities removed from the centers of learning 
and from religious leaders well versed in halakhah there still 
exist, side by side with the normative religion, complexes of 
popular beliefs and superstitions. Contrary to the explicit 
command of the Torah (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:9-14), beliefs in 
divination, the prognostic arts, interpretations of dreams, 
and astrology are still rooted in Jewish communities (cf. 
the still popular reprints of folk books like Goralot Ahitofel 
("Lots of Ahitophel," Jerusalem, 1965); Sefer Hokhmat ha- 
Yad ha-Shalem ("The Wisdom of Chiromancy," Jerusalem, 
1966); Sefer Hokhmatha-Parzuf ("Divination According to 
Features," Jerusalem, 1967) which are widely read and used 
by ethnic groups). Rabbinic authorities have tried to suppress 
customs which they regard not of Jewish origin, but in many 
cases they have not succeeded. Thus, for example, the cus- 
toms of kapparot (propitiatory rite performed on the eve of 
the Day of ^Atonement) and tashlikh (symbolic casting off of 
sins during *Rosh Ha-Shanah) are entirely foreign and consid- 
ered by many Jewish authorities as pagan practices diametri- 
cally opposed to Judaism (cf. Rappoport, The Folklore of the 
Jews, p. 112-117); however, they are still commonly practiced 
in Jewish communities. 

bibliography: folk narrative: W. Anderson, Kaiser 
undAbt (1923); A. Aarne, The Types of Folktale (1961 = at in text); T. 
Benfey, Pantschatantra (1962); M. Epstein, Tales of Sendebar (1967); 
D. Flusser, in: Tarbiz, 26 (1956/57), 165-84; T.H. Gaster, The Oldest 
Stories in the World (1952); idem, Thespis (1966); Ginzberg, Legends; 
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drabes y Hebrdicos, 5 (1956), 225-48; S. Thompson, Motif Index of Folk- 
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Religionsdisput der Balaam -Legende ... (1959); D. Noy, in: Mahanayim, 
115 (1967), 80-99; S.Z. Pipe, in: Yivo Annual of Jewish Social Studies, 
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Varnhagen, Fin indisches Maerchen auf seiner Wanderung (1882); G. 
Widengren, in: S.H. Hooke (ed.), Myth, Ritual and Kingship (1958), 
149-203; idem, in: Acta Orientalia, 23 (1959), 201-62. riddle: S. An- 
Ski, Gezamlte Shriftn, 15 (1925), 225-9; S. Bastomski, Yidishe Folksre- 
teishn (1917); S. Einhorn, in: Edoth, 2 (1947), 278-81; 3 (1948), 95-98; 
Ginzberg, Legends; D. Noy, in: Mahanayim, 83 (1963), 64-71; Y. Rat- 
zhabi, in: Sinai, 22 (1948), 36-44; idem, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 2 (1954), 
36-41; S. Schechter, in: Folk-Lore, 1 (1890), 349-58; N.H. Tur-Sinai, 
Ha-Lashon veha-Sefer, 2 (1951), 58-93; A. Wuensche, Die Raetsel- 
weisheit bei den Hebraeern, mit Hinblick auf andere Voelker (1883). 
folk drama: Y.L. Cahan (ed.), Yidisher Folklor (1938), 219-24, 
310-18; E. Lahad, Yiddish Folkplays (1920), bibliography, folk song: 
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versidad de Granada, 23 (1951), 127-44; idem, Endechas judeo-espa- 
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S.G. Armistead and J.H. Silvermann, in: Sefarad, 28 (1968), 395-98; 
M. Attias, Romancero Sefaradi (1956); idem, La Romanza Sefaradi 
(1958); idem, in: Sefunot, 2 (1958), 331-76; H. Avenary, in: Sefarad, 
20 (i960), 377-94; S. Bastomski, Baym Kval (1923); B. Bayer, in: M. 
Zmona (ed.), Yesodot Mizrahiyyim u-Maarviyyim ba-Musikah be- 
Yisrael (1968), 74-78; M.I. Bergovski, Yidisher Muzik-Folklor (1934); 
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Jews in Music (1959); B. Hrushovski, in: The Field of Yiddish, 1 (1954), 
224-32; E. Hurvitz, Min ha-Mezar (1949); Idelsohn, Melodien; idem, 
The Jewish Song Book (1961); S. Katsherginski, Lider fun di Getos un 
Lagern (1948); EM. Kaufmann, Das juedische Volkslied (1919); S.J. 
Katz, in: Western Folklore, 21 (1962), 83-91; M. Kipnis, Hundert Folk- 
slider (1949); R. Lachman, Jewish Cantillation and Song in the Isle of 
Djerba (1940); S. Lehman, A rbayt un Frayhayt (1921), idem, Ganovim 
Lider (1928); I. Levy, Chants judeo-espagnols (1959); L. Levy, in: Yeda 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Am, 3 (1955), 58-65, 5 (1958), 96 f.; R.R. Mac-Curdy and d.p. Stanley, 
in: Southern Folklore Quarterly, 15 (1951), 221-38; E.G. Mlotek, in: The 
Field of Yiddish 1 (1954), 179-95; 2 (1965)1 232-52; idem, in: For Max 
Weinreich (1964), 209-28; M. Molho, Literatura Sefardita de Oriente 
(i960); D. Noy, in: Haifa Yorbukh, 5 (1969), 177-224; A. de Larrea 
Palacin, Cancionero judio del Norte de Marruecos, 3 vols. (1952-54) 
M. Pelayo, in: Antologia depoetas liricas castellanos, 9 (1945), 349-88 
S.Z. Pipe, Yidishe Folkslider fun Galitsye, ed. by D. and M. Noy (1971) 
M. Prager, Min ha-Mezar Karati (1956), N. Prilutski, Yidishe Folk- 
slider, 2 vols. (1911-13); I. Rabinovitch, Of Jewish Music ... (1952); Y. 
Ratzaby, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 5 (1958), 85-89; Y.Y. Rivlin, Shirat Yehu- 
dei ha-Targum (1959); A. Rozentsvayg, Sotsyale Diferentsyatsye inem 
Yidishen Folklorlid (1934); R. Rubin, A Treasury of Jewish Folksong 
(1950); idem, Voices of People (1963); idem, Jewish Folksongs in Yid- 
dish and English (1965); idem, in: Tatzlil, 8 (1968), 39-48; D. Sadan, 
in: Yeda-Am, vol. 1 no. 2 (1948), 33-35; no. 3-4 (1949), 30-32; no. 5-6 
(1950), Studies in Jewish and World Folklore (1968), 409-17; E. Secu- 
lets, Yidishe Folkslider (1959); Sendrey, Music; A. Shiloah, in: Folklore 
Research Center Studies, 1 (1970), 349-68; K.Y. Silman, Lekhu Neran- 
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Skuditski, Folklor-Lider, ed. by M. Viner, 2 vols. (1933-36); J. Spector, 
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101-3; vol. 4 ( 1 956)> 24-28; Y. Stutshevski, Folklor Muzikali shel Yehu- 
dei Mizrah Eiropah (1958); idem, Ha-Kleizmerim, Toledoteihem, Orah 
Hayyeihem vi-Yziroteihem (1959); B. Uziel, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 2 (1954), 
75 f., 172-7; ider, in: Le Judaisme Sephardi, 18 (1959), 769-99; Ch. Vi- 
naver, in: Commentary, 2 (1951), 85-87; U. Weinreich, in: Yivo Bleter, 
34 (1950), 282-8; U. and B. Weinreich, Yiddish Language and Folk- 
lore (1959), nos. 294-347 (bibl.); E. Werner, in: hjs, 6 (1944), 175-88; 
idem, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.), The Jews, 2 (1949), 950-83; idem, The Sa- 
cred Bridge (1959); L. Wiener, in: Germanica, 2 (1898), 1-26, 33-59; A. 
Yaari, in: ks, 35 (i960), 109-26; 36 (1961), 264-72 (bibl. on Badhanim). 
visual folklore: Mayer, Art; D. Davidovitch, Battei Keneset be- 
Polin ve-Hurbanam (i960); B. Goldman, The Sacred Portal, A Pri- 
mary Symbol in Ancient Jewish Art (1966); M. Golnitzki, Be-Mahazor 
ha-Yamim (1963); Goodenough, Symbols; J. Gutmann, Juedische 
Zeremonialkunst (1963); S.S. Kayser, Jewish Ceremonial Art (1959); 
F. Landsberger, A History of Jewish Art (1946); idem, in: huca, 31 
(i960), 149-66; G.K.L. Loukomski, Jewish Art in European Syna- 
gogues (1947); M. Narkiss, in: M. Davis (ed.), Israel, Its Role in Civi- 
lization (1956), 1946°.; J. Pinkerfeld, Bi-Shevilei Ommanut Yehudit 
(1957); Roth, Art; A. Rubens, A Jewish Iconography (1954); idem, A 
History of Jewish Custom (1967); Ch. Schwarzbaum, Studies in Jew- 
ish and World Folklore (1968), 435-40, 484^; H. Volavkova, The Syn- 
agogue Treasures of Bohemia and Moravia (1949); idem, The Pinkas 
Synagogue in Prague (1955); R. Wischnitzer, Symbole und Gestalten 
der juedischen Kunst (1935); idem, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.), The Jews 
(1949), 984-10 1 o; idem, The Architecture of the European Synagogue 
(1964). cognitive folklore: I. Abrahams, Jewish Customs and 
Ceremonies (1954); I. Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages (i960); 
J. Bazak, Le-Malah min ha-Hushim (1968); Y. Bergman, in: Edoth, 3 
(1947/48), 58-66; L. Blau, Das altjuedische Zauberwesen (1898); R. 
Brasch, The Star of David (1955); Y.L. Cahan, Shtudyes vegn Yidisher 
Folksshafung (1952), 275-8; S. Daiches, Babylonian Oil Magic in the 
Talmud and in Later Jewish Literature (1913); A. Daron, in: Transac- 
tions of the 11 th International Congress of Orientalists (1897), 259-70; 
Eisenstein, Dinim; L. Finkelstein (ed.), The Jews, 2 (1949), 1327-89; 
A.S. Freidus,, Studies in Jewish Bibliography and Related Subjects in 
Memory of Abraham Solomon Freidus (1929), lxxviiiff.; T.H. Gaster, 
The Holy and the Profane: Evolution of Jewish Folkways (1955); J. Ja- 

cobs, Customs and Traditions of Israel (1955); E, Tov, Sefer ha-Todaah 
(i960); E, Langton, Essentials of Demonology: A Study of Jewish and 
Christian Doctrine (1949); S.M. Lehrran, Jewish Customs and Folklore 
( 1 949); R- Lilienthal, in; Yidishe Filologye, 1 (1924), 245-71; A. Mar- 
morstein, in: Edoth, 1 (1945/46), 76-89; J. Nacht, Simlei Ishah (1959); D. 
Noy, in: Onot ha-Shanah, 1 (1959); R. Patai, Adam va-Adamah, 2 vols. 
(1942-43); idem, Man and Temple in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual 
(1947), 4L; S. Raskin, Aron-hakodesh.. Jewish Life and Lore (1955); I. 
Rivkind, Yidishe Gelt (1959); J. Soetendorp, Symbolik der juedischen 
Religion; Sitte und Brauchtum im juedischen Leben (1963); I. Sperling, 
Sefer Taamei ha-Minhagim u-Mekorei ha-Dinim (1957); J. Trachten- 
berg, Jewish Magic and Superstition (1939, repr. 1961); idem, The Devil 
and the Jews (1961 2 ). year cycle beliefs and customs: A. Ben 
Ezra, Minhagei Hagim (1963); T.H. Gaster, Festivals of the Jewish Year: 
A Modern Interpretation and Guide (1956); P. Goodman, Rejoice in Thy 
Festival (1956); S. Goren, Torat ha-Moadim (1964); H. Leshem, Shab- 
bat u-Moadei Yisrael (1965); Y.T. Lewinski (ed.), Sefer ha-Moadim, 3 
(1953); J. Morgenstern, in: jqr, 8 (1917/ 18), 34-37; N. Wahrman, Hagei 
Yisrael u-Moadav (1961); M. Zobel, Dasjahr desjuden in Branch und 
Liturgie (1936); H. Schauss, The Jewish Festivals (1938); idem, Guide 
to Jewish Holy Days (1962); M. Rabinovitch, Hoi u-Moed (1965). 
life-cycle beliefs and customs: L.M. Epstein, Sex Laws and 
Customs in Judaism (1948); E. Ki-Tov, Ish u-Veito (1963); R. Patai, Sex 
and Family in the Bible and the Middle East (1959); H. Schauss, The 
Lifetime of a Jew throughout the Ages of Jewish History (1950); Ch. 
Schwarzbaum, Studies in Jewish and World Folklore (1968), 428 ff 
birth and circumcision: E. Brauer, in: Edoth, 1 (1945/46), 129-138 
(Kurdistan); WE Feldman, The Jewish Child (1917); M. Gaster, in: 
Folk-Lore, 11 (1900), 129-62; T.H. Gaster, The Holy and the Profane 
(i955)> 3—41; A. Landau, in: Zeitschrift des Vereinsfuer Volkskunde, 9 
(1899), 72-77; J.Z. Lauterbach, in: ccary, 42 (1932), 316-60; R. Lil- 
ienthal, in: mgjv, 25-26 (1908), 1-24, 41-53; M. Molho, in: Edoth, 2 
(1946/47), 255-69 (Saloniki); R. Patai, in: Folklore, 54 (1943), 117-24; 
56 (1945), 208-18; A.M. Posner, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 4 (1956), 41-44; 
A. Pritzker, ibid., vol. 1 no. 1 (1948-53), 87-90; vol. 2 (1954), 22-23, 
215-8; H. Schauss, in: Yivo Bleter, 17 (1941), 47-63; M. Zobel, in: Al- 
manach des Schocken Verlags (1939), 98 ff.; I. Zoller, in; Filologishe 
Shriftn, 3 (1929), 121-42. bar mitzvah: A. Ben-Gurion (ed.), Yal- 
kut Bar-Mitzvah (1967); T.H. Gaster, The Holy and the Profane (1955), 
66-77; J> Nacht, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 3 (1955), 106-11; 1. Rivkind, Le-Ot 
u-le-Zikkaron (1942). marriage: L.M. Epstein, The Jewish Marriage 
Contract (1927), incl. bib I.; I.Z. Lauterbach, in: huca, 2 (1925), 35 
iff.; Y.T. Lewinski, in: Yeda-A m, vol. 3 (1955), 91-97; Mahanayim, 83 
(1963). death: S. An-Ski, in: Filologishe Shriftn, 3 (1929), 89-100; J. 
Avida, in: Edoth, 2 (1946/47), 217-25; A. P. Bender, in: jqr, 6 (1934/35), 
317-47, 667-71; T.H. Gaster, The Holy and the Profane (1955), 137-95; 
Ch. Chajes, in: Filologishe Shriftn, 2 (1928), 281-328; A. Pritsker, in: 
Yeda-Am, vol. 3 (1955), 2of., 115-17; 4 (1956), 38-40; 5 (*957)> 26-28; 
Ch. Schwarzbaum, in: Yeda-Am, vol. 6 (i960), 14-18. folk medi- 
cine: Y. Bergman, Ha-Folklor ha-Yehudi (1953), 178-94; M. Ber- 
nstein, in: Studies in Biblical and Jewish Folklore (i960), 289-305; 
M.M. Firestone, in: Journal of American Folklore, 75 (1962), 301-10; 
M. Grunwald, in: Jirbuch fuer juedische Volkskunde, 1 (1923), 222-6; 
M. Kosover, Yidishe Maakholim (1958); R. Patai, in: Folklore, 54 (1943), 
117-24; 56 (1945), 208-18; H.J. Zimmels, Magicians, Theologians and 
Doctors (1952). add. bibliography: D. Ben Amos, "Jewish Stud- 
ies and Jewish Folklore," in: Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress 
of Jewish Studies, Division D (Art, Folklore, and Music), 11 (1990), 
1-20); G. Hasan-Rokem, "Jewish Folklore and Ethnography," in: M. 
Goodman (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies (2002), 956-74, 
incl. bibl. The Israeli Folktale Archive at Haifa University in Israel 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


(founded by Dov Noy) houses 25,000 narrative texts. An archive for 
proverbs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (founded by Galit 
Hasan-Rokem) houses 7,500 sayings. The Institute for Jewish Stud- 
ies at the Hebrew University publishes the journal Jerusalem Stud- 
ies in Folklore. 

[Dov Noy] 

FOLKMAN, JUDAH (1933- ), U.S. medical scientist. Folk- 
man was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated with a B.A. 
from Ohio State University (1953) and an M.D. from Harvard 
Medical School (1957). His interest in research began while he 
was still an undergraduate with the development of a novel 
pacemaker. After training in surgery at Massachusetts Gen- 
eral Hospital (1957-65), including service with the U.S. Navy 
(1960-62), he joined the staff of Harvard Medical School, 
where his subsequent senior appointments included profes- 
sor of surgery (1967), pediatric surgery (1979), and cell biology 
(1994), and chief surgeon at Boston Children's Hospital. Folk- 
man initiated research on the importance of new blood vessels 
(angiogenesis) to the growth and spread of cancers. This re- 
search showed that angiogenesis is stimulated by factors pro- 
duced chiefly by the specialized cells (endothelial cells) lining 
the interior of the blood vessels of normal individuals and by 
cancer cells. It also promotes inflammation in many other dis- 
eases. Angiogenesis is inhibited by naturally occurring factors 
and by drugs such as endostatin and angiostatin designed as 
the result of this basic research. He has postulated that natural 
anti-angiogenesis factors are an important anti-cancer defense 
mechanism. Anti-angiogenesis drugs have proved effective in 
controlling experimental cancers but their relevance to clini- 
cal medicine awaits the outcome of the many clinical trials 
founded on this research. His achievements have been recog- 
nized by many honors, including election to the U.S. National 
Academy of Sciences (1990), the Gairdner Award (1991), the 
Wolf Prize (1992), and the Benjamin Franklin Award (2001). 
In 1999 he became a member of the International Scientific 
Board of the Israel Cancer Association. 

[Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

FOLKSPARTEI (Poland), "Yidishe Folkspartei in Polyn" 
(popularly known as Folkist Party), Jewish populist party 
in Poland organized during World War 1 and active in the 
interwar period; followed the ideology of the Russian ^Folk- 
spartei. The Folkist Party achieved its first successes among 
broad sectors of the Jewish electorate during the elections to 
the Warsaw municipal council of 1916. An agreement on the 
distribution of seats had then been signed between the united 
Jewish bloc - which comprised the Zionists, the Orthodox, 
and the assimilationists - and the Polish parties in order to 
break the tension existing between Poles and Jews since the 
proclamation of the anti- Jewish boycott in 1912. In opposition 
to this agreement a "Peoples Committee" (Folks Komitet) was 
formed on the initiative of a group of Yiddish authors and 
journalists led by the lawyer Noah *Prylucki. This presented 
a separate list calling for independent Jewish politics, cultural 

autonomy, and full political equality. As a result of the dissat- 
isfaction among the small tradesmen and artisan class, the 
list won four seats. 

The founding convention of the Folkspartei was held in 
November 1918. It drew up a program in general similar to that 
of the Russian Folkspartei but with the exclusive emphasis on 
Yiddish as the traditional language. In social outlook, the party 
was Democrat-Radical oriented, opposing the class struggle 
and aiming at productivization. Culture and education were 
to be of a secular character. The Folkspartei was headed by 
intellectuals and communal leaders who had left the Zionist 
and labor ranks (especially the Bund) like its principal leader, 
Noah Prylucki, the folklorist and Yiddish philologist, Samuel 
*Hirschhorn, Hillel *Zeitlin, H.D. *Nomberg, Lazar Cohen 
(Kahan), S. Stupnicki, and Zemah *Shabad. The main centers 
of the movement were Warsaw, Lodz, and Vilna. Its organi- 
zational and ideological framework was not overly rigid, and 
its leaders achieved popularity through the Yiddish press and 
their efforts on behalf of individual causes. 

In the elections to the Sejm (parliament) of 1919, the 
Folkists returned two members (Prylucki and Hirschhorn), 
but in the elections of 1922 were unsuccessful in the campaign 
against the minorities bloc, which attracted the decisive major- 
ity of the Jewish vote. Prylucki, who was elected as the party's 
sole representative to the Sejm, did not join the circle of other 
Jewish deputies. After this decline in the party's popularity, a 
split occurred in 1926 with the separation of the Vilna section, 
which proclaimed itself an independent faction ("Populist- 
Democrat") under the leadership of Shabad. In 1928, within 
the framework of the new political regime established in Po- 
land after Pilsudski s coup, the supporters of Prylucki, in con- 
junction with Agudat Israel and the Merchants' Organiza- 
tion, joined forces with the list supported by the government 
against the second minorities bloc led by Yizhak *Gruenbaum. 
This affiliation with the Polish government camp did not en- 
hance the status of the Folkist Party among the Jewish pub- 
lic. In 1929, an attempt was made to reunite the Folkspartei, 
and a national convention was held in 1931. During 1932-33 
it published a monthly, Folkistishe Heftn, in order to explain 
the party ideology. All these efforts, however, were unable to 
compete with the growing Zionist and radical movements, es- 
pecially the Bund, with which the Folkist Party collaborated 
in the fields of culture and Yiddish education. 

bibliography: I. Schipper et al. (eds.), "Zydziw Polsce odro- 
dzonej,, 2 (1933), 268-9; A Levinson, Toledot Yehudei Varshah (1953), 
270-1; R. Ben-Shem, in: eg, 6 (1959), 279-83. 

[Moshe Landau] 

FOLKSPARTEI (Russia), populist party; Jewish political 
party influential in most of Eastern Europe and active from 
1906 to 1939. Its founder and mentor was Simon *Dubnow, 
who formulated with associates the party program on the 
basis of his ideology of *autonomism. According to this, the 
Jewish communal organization would serve as the secular 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



cell of Jewish national existence and autonomy, to be admin- 
istered on democratic lines. It was to establish Jewish schools 
whose language of instruction would be determined accord- 
ing to circumstances and the parents - Hebrew, Yiddish, or 
the language of the country - but the spirit and aims of this 
education should be Jewish. The local communities were to 
band together in a council on the lines of the ^Councils of the 
Lands to represent the Jews vis-a-vis the authorities, whereby 
the state would grant it the right to collect taxes for internal 
Jewish requirements. The council would establish central in- 
stitutions (rabbinical seminaries, teachers* training colleges, 
etc.), supervise the Jewish schools, and deal with economic 
and social matters (cooperatives, emigration, and welfare). 
On a higher plane, Dubnow visualized a world Jewish con- 
gress that would deal with problems concerning the whole of 
the nation in the Diaspora, such as the struggle for ^emanci- 
pation in countries where it had not yet been achieved, and 
care for emigration and settlement in Erez Israel and other 
countries. In 1911 a group of Autonomists-Socialists joined 
the Folkspartei. The party was led, in addition to S. Dubnow, 
by M. *Kreinin, I. *Yefroykin, S. *An-Ski, J.W. *Latzky-Ber- 
tholdi, Nahum *Shtif, and Joseph Tschernikhov. 

After the Russian Revolution of February 1917, the party 
organized openly. It played a role in the political struggle 
among Jews during this period but made no headway against 
the Jewish socialist parties, the Zionists, and the Orthodox 
groups: in the elections to the Ukrainian Jewish Council 
of 1918, only four of its delegates were returned out of 125. 
Latzky-Bertholdi served as minister for Jewish affairs in the 
Ukrainian government for a short while in 1918. When the 
Soviets gained control of Ukraine and Belorussia, the activi- 
ties of the party in these areas were brought to a halt. With 
the granting of ^minority rights in international treaties, the 
Folkspartei considered that its program had been given in- 
ternational sanction. 

In Poland the founding congress of the Folkspartei met in 
November 1918. The program adopted resembled the Russian 
one, differing in that it proclaimed Yiddish the sole language 
for the cooperative movement and for secular education and 
culture. Among the leaders of the party were: N. Prylucki, S. 
*Hirschhorn, J. *Zeitlin, H.D. *Nomberg, and others. In the 
elections to the Polish parlament (Sejm) two were elected: 
Prylucki and Hirschhorn; in the 1922 only Prylucki, but he did 
not join the Jewish Circle and the minorities bloc. In 1928 he 
joined forces with Agudat Israel and the government and not 
the second minorities bloc headed by Yizhak *Gruenbaum. 
During the 1920s and 1930s, the party continued its activities 
in Poland and the Baltic countries. Its members took part in 
community affairs, and in conjunction with the Jewish leftist 
parties promoted secular Jewish schools with instruction in 
Yiddish (cysho [Central Yiddish School Organization]), and 
supported the Jewish cooperative movement and relief insti- 
tutions (*ort, *ose). The party drew most of its adherents 
from the intelligentsia, small tradesmen, and artisans. While 
operating only in limited circles, it had some influence in com- 

munal life (see ^Folkspartei, Poland). In the Baltic countries, 
the Folkspartei continued to exist until the rise of the dictato- 
rial regimes and the abolition of Jewish autonomy. With the 
growing antisemitism and nationalism in the late 1930s, the 
party gradually disintegrated. Many of its members and lead- 
ers abandoned it, some joining the Zionists (such as Latzky- 
Bertholdi), and others the Territorialists (Tschernikhov). 

bibliography: S. Dubnow, in: K. Pinson (ed.), National- 
ism and History (1958); N. Kastelyanski, Formy natsionalnogo dvi- 
zheniya (1910). 

[Yehuda Slutsky] 

FOMIN, YEFIM MOISEYEVICH (d. 1941), Soviet soldier. 
In 1941 Fomin was a captain and commissar of a regiment 
during the Brest-Litovsk campaign. When the Germans broke 
through the Russian lines, Fomin conducted the defense of the 
Brest-Litovsk fortress for weeks after the rest of the front had 
retreated. Severely wounded, he was captured with the fall of 
the fortress and because he was a Jew, he was executed. He was 
posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union and a factory 
and a street in Brest-Litovsk were named after him. 

FONDANE (Fundoianu), BENJAMIN (Barbu; 1898-1944), 
French and Romanian poet. Born in Jassy, Romania, Fondane 
studied law, then turned to literature, publishing some Roma- 
nian verse collections under his original name, Barbu Fon- 
doianu. In 1923 he settled in France, where in common with 
other Romanian Jewish immigrants, such as Tristan *Tzara 
and Ilarie *Voronca, he made his name as a French writer. Un- 
like them, however, Fondane always remained a Jewish author, 
deeply conscious of his identity and painfully aware of the 
Jews condition as an exile. Although he wrote philosophical 
essays which betray the influence of Kierkegaard, Fondane is 
primarily remembered as a visionary poet. In the vast lyrical 
frescos of Ulysse (1933) and Titanic (1937) he developed the 
theme of the ^Wandering Jew, with pathetic descriptions of 
the wanderers existence or of weary yet hopeful emigrants on 
the way to their Promised Land. Fondanes poetic testament, 
L'Exode; superflumina Babylonis (1965; written 1934-42), is 
more restrained and taut in tone. In this semiautobiographi- 
cal work the author resigns himself to the inevitable, and in 
bitter words prophesies the ultimate catastrophe. Even as the 
darkness of Nazism descended on Jewry, Fondane continued 
to believe in the ultimate triumph of freedom. He was de- 
ported to the concentration camp at Birkenau (Auschwitz), 

where he was murdered. 

[Wladimir Rabi] 

FONDILLER, WILLIAM (1885-1975), U.S. electrical engi- 
neer. Born in Russia, Fondiller was taken to the U.S. He made 
his career with Western Electric Company (1909-25) and Bell 
Telephone Laboratories, of which he became vice president 
and treasurer. He was a research associate at Columbia Uni- 
versity school of engineering from 1935 to 1950, and took out 
patents for loading coils, transformers, cables, etc. Fondiller 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


was active in Jewish and Zionist affairs and was honorary pres- 
ident of the American Technion Society (1950). 

FONSECA, ALVARO DA (c. 1657-1742), English merchant. 
Da Fonseca, known in synagogue as Jacob Jessurun Alvarez, 
arrived with his family in England in about 1670 from Nevis 
in the West Indies, became a successful merchant, and was ac- 
tive in synagogue affairs. About 1682 he left for India. In 1683 
he and two other Portuguese -Jewish merchants, Bartholomew 
Rodriguez and Domingo do Porto, were authorized, though 
they were originally interlopers, to settle in Fort St. George 
(Madras). During the 17 years that he was in India (1683-1700) 
Da Fonseca served the English East India Company in a va- 
riety of functions. In 1690 he was appointed alderman of the 
Madras Corporation, representing the Jewish merchant group 
of Fort St. George. He built a vast commercial empire in col- 
laboration with other Jewish merchants and opened up new 
markets in Asia for the English trade. He invested great sums 
in commercial transactions to China, Burma, and Bengal. 
The major commodities in which he dealt were diamonds 
and precious stones, textiles, and timber, frequently trans- 
ported on his own ships. In March 1700 he returned with a 
large fortune to London, where he acted on behalf of the Ma- 
dras governor Thomas Pitt in the appraisal and sale of the fa- 
mous Pitt diamond. 

bibliography: Diamond, in: jhset, 19 (i960), 180-9; 
Fischel, in: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 
3 (i960), 78-107, 175-95. add. bibliography: odnb online; E. 
Samuel, At the Ends of the Earth: Essays on the History of the Jews in 
England and Portugal (2004), 248-49; G. Yogav, Diamonds and Coral: 
Anglo-Jews and Eighteenth Century Trade (1978). 

[Walter Joseph Fischel] 

FONSECA, DANIEL DE (1672-c. 1740), Marrano physician 
and diplomat from Oporto (Porto), Portugal. His grandfather 
had been burned at the stake by the Inquisition; his father had 
escaped the same fate only by flight. Left behind in Portugal, 
his son was brought up as a priest. This did not prevent him 
from adhering to Judaism in secret. The secret reached the 
ears of the Inquisition and like his father he had to flee for 
his life, crossing the border into France. He studied medicine 
in Bordeaux, resided for a time in Paris, and then made his 
way to Constantinople, where he arrived in 1702. Once there, 
he openly embraced Judaism. Through his medical skill, De 
Fonseca soon became known in the Turkish capital, obtaining 
the confidence of many high officials. He showed himself an 
accomplished diplomat, consistently espousing the cause of 
France and thereby earning the dislike of the Court of Austria. 
He was appointed a physician to the French embassy, in which 
he occupied the position of confidential adviser. Subsequently, 
he became medical attendant to Prince Mavrocordato at Bu- 
charest. On his return to Constantinople, he became physi- 
cian to the sultan, continuing to occupy this office till 1730; 
and he was of great assistance to Charles xn of Sweden in his 
intrigues at the Sublime Porte against Russia and Poland. Fi- 

nally he settled in Paris, where he mingled with the highest 
society of his age and earned the respect of Voltaire, who re- 
garded him as "the only philosopher of his people." 

bibliography: Rosanes, Togarmah, 4 (1935), i88f.; E. Car- 
moly, Histoire des medecins Juifs (1844), i98f.; Roth, Marranos, 310-11; 
A. da Silva Carvalho, Daniel da Fonseca (Fr., 1939); Marquis d'Argens, 

Memoires (1735), 114-5. 

[Abraham Haim] 

FONTAINEBLEAU, town in the Seine-et-Marne depart- 
ment, approximately 37 mi. (about 60 km.) S. of Paris, France. 
The Jewish community in Fontainebleau dates from 1799. Dur- 
ing the 19 th century, two important porcelain factories there 
were owned by Jews: Jacob Petit and Baruch Weil. At the time 
of the 1941 census, there were 58 Jews in Fontainebleau. 

Holocaust and Postwar Periods 

During the German occupation of World War 11, Fontaineb- 
leau's synagogue, dating from 1857, was looted and destroyed; 
its eight-branch candelabrum, made of blue Sevres porcelain 
and donated by Napoleon in to the Jewish community, was 
also smashed. After the war, a new Jewish community, com- 
posed mostly of North African Jews, settled there, numbering 
about 400 persons in 1969. The synagogue was rebuilt in 1965 
and a new candelabrum was contributed by Allied (shape) 
officers stationed in the town. 

bibliography: Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gaz- 
etteer (1966), 267. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 


The Biblical Period 

Diet in Erez Israel during the biblical period was dependent 
mostly on the food supply of the closed agricultural economy. 
Most agricultural produce came from permanent settlements, 
and some wild plants were gathered, while meat was mainly 
supplied by cattle and sheep-raising nomads. Grain consti- 
tuted the bulk of agricultural produce consumed and most 
meat was mutton. The Bible, in speaking of the produce of 
Erez Israel, mentions three types of food: dagan, tirosh, and 
yizhar (Deut. 7:13; 11 Kings 18:32). Dagan ("corn" or "grain") 
represents the various agricultural crops, tirosh ("new wine")- 
wine, and yizhar- oil. 

Food was made fit for eating by baking, boiling, frying, or 
roasting (see *Fire), or by a combination of these. Grain was 
prepared in two ways: roasting the kernels in order to break 
down their starches and soften them (Heb. kali, qali; "parched 
corn"; 1 Sam. 25:18; 11 Sam. 17:28; Ruth 2:14), or grinding and 
baking the item (see also *Bread). Cooked food was a mix- 
ture of meat and vegetables which were combined while heat- 
ing (Heb. marak; "broth"; Judg. 6:19, 20; Isa. 65:4). Stew (Heb. 
nazid; Gen. 25:29; 11 Kings 4:38; et al.) was apparently a food 
cooked for a long time in water, most of which was boiled off. 
Fried foods, especially meat, were cooked in large quantities of 
boiling oil. Meat was also roasted over an open flame, which 
seared and softened it. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



forbidden foods. The usual diet consisted of foods pre- 
pared from grain, wild and cultivated plants, and the meat of 
sheep, cattle, fowl, fish, and even certain insects. The Torah 
limited the meat a Jew could eat, both in terms of the animals 
permissible for eating, and the manner of their preparation 
(see also ^Dietary Laws). Meat taken from a still living ani- 
mal or from one found dead, and the drinking of blood were 
prohibited (see *Blood). Only animals specifically slaughtered 
for food or for use in the sacrificial service could be eaten. 
These animals had to have two characteristics: they chewed 
the cud and had cloven hoofs. An animal possessing neither 
or only one of these characteristics was forbidden. Some types 
of birds were permitted and the exceptions were specifically 
named (Lev. 11:13-19). The consumption offish was limited 
to those possessing scales and fins. As to insects, only locusts 
(Heb. *arbeh) could be eaten. 

the form of the meal. The Bible uses several terms to 
describe meals. 'Aruhah (from the root 'rh, "to lodge") appears 
to refer to the usual daily meal, as in "a regular allowance 
['aruhah] was given him . .." (11 Kings 25:30; Jer. 52:34). It may 
also indicate a more modest meal, as in "Better is a dinner of 
herbs where love is, than a fatted ox and hatred with it" (Prov. 
15:17). Zevah (from the root zbh y "to sacrifice") generally in- 
dicates a meat meal connected with the religious worship, or 
with some other festive occasion (1 Sam. 20:29). Kerah was a 
festive meal with many participants (11 Kings 6:23). The verb 
s c d ("to support") is frequently used to indicate eating: "Come 
home with me, and refresh thyself" (1 Kings 13:7). Lehem 
("*bread") frequently refers to food or to a meal in general. 
Meat meals were not usual: the kerah or zevah, as noted above, 
was part of some festive occasion such as a general holiday or 
special tribal or family occasion. Many people participated in 
a meat meal, of which nothing would be left over in order to 
prevent spoilage. Such meat meals were consecrated in order 
to enlist Gods aid in human ventures, as a sign of thanks, or 
as a propitiatory offering (see also ^Sacrifice). The everyday 
meal was eaten by the family either in the house or in the field. 
It was generally prepared by the woman, while the zevah and 
kerah were prepared by both men and women, thus emphasiz- 
ing the importance of these social events. A meal was an occa- 
sion for pleasure and enjoyment. It was eaten while seated and 
the established customs and manners were observed before 
and after the meal. The upper classes might sing and propose 
riddles during the mealtimes. 

vegetables. Cereals, such as wheat (Heb. hittah) and barley 
(Heb. se c orah)> were cultivated crops. Stew made of lentils (Heb. 
c adashim) or beans (Heb. polim) was common and was eaten 
after being softened by cooking. Other vegetable dishes were 
uncommon, most vegetables being picked wild as needed and 
then cooked for the daily meal. Wild melons (Heb. ^avattiah) 
and cucumbers (Heb. Wttfp, qeshu) were among the wild veg- 
etables eaten in Erez Israel. In Egypt there were plots for the 
cultivation of melons and cucumbers. Sesame seeds (Heb. 
shumshum), also gathered wild, were used in the prepara- 

tion of oil, or were eaten raw, in stews or in some other fash- 
ion. Garlic (Heb. shum) and onions (Heb. bazal) grew wild in 
Erez Israel and served as food, while in Egypt they were cul- 
tivated. They were cultivated in Erez Israel only in the post- 
biblical period. 

fruits. The seven types of produce mentioned in Deuter- 
onomy 8:8 include most of the fruit eaten in Erez Israel. The 
vine (Heb. gefen) is mentioned after wheat and barley. Grapes 
(Heb. c anavim) were used mainly in the production of wine, 
although they were also eaten fresh. Grapes were dried in the 
sun to produce raisins (Heb. zimmukim, zimmuqim) , which 
were preserved for substantial periods of time. Grapes were 
also used to produce a thick liquid like honey, called the grape 
honey (Heb. devash c anavim). Even today, grape honey (Ar. 
dibes) is produced in parts of Israel. Grape honey was made by 
treading in special vats: the liquid produced was not left to fer- 
ment, but was boiled in order to evaporate the water content, 
leaving behind a thick liquid resembling honey. Figs (Heb. 
teenah) were also common and were eaten either fresh when 
ripe, or dried, the dried figs (Heb. develah) being strung into 
a chain or made into a hard cake. This cake was made of figs 
stuck together and dried as a block. After sufficient drying, 
the fig block was sliced and eaten like bread. Pomegranates 
(Heb. rimmonim) were usually eaten fresh, although occasion- 
ally they were used in the preparation of wine for medicinal 
uses. Dates (Heb. temarim), too, were eaten fresh or were sun- 
dried. Like grapes, dates were made into a sweet, thick drink 
called date honey (Heb. devash temarim). This was prepared 
by soaking the fruit in water for some time during which it 
would disintegrate. The liquid was cooked down until thick 
and sweet. Olives (Heb. zeitim) were usually used to make oil 
(see below), although some were eaten after being preserved 
in tasty and fragrant spices, which removed their natural bit- 
ter flavor. The Bible also mentions nuts (Heb. *egozim), apples 
(Heb. tappuhim), pistachios (Heb. botnim), and almonds (Heb. 
shekedim, sheqedim). Nuts were common in Erez Israel, par- 
ticularly in the post-biblical period. Apples, pistachios, and 
almonds were not cultivated, but grew wild. They were picked 
for occasional home use when they were available, although 
most were imported as a delicacy. 

spices. The most common spice was salt (Heb. melah; Job 
6:6), there being hardly any food which was not seasoned with 
it. Salt served the additional function of symbolizing the mak- 
ing of a covenant (11 Chron. 13:5), or the destruction of a city 
(Judg. 9:45). It was obtained in two ways: the most common 
method was mining, as at Sodom, although it was also pro- 
duced by evaporating sea water and removing the salts from 
the sediment. The raw salt was rinsed in fresh water, purified, 
and then crushed until fine, in which form it was used for sea- 
soning food and for other purposes. The flavor of food was 
also enhanced by spices derived from plants. Garlic and on- 
ions, as well as being eaten as vegetables, were used to season 
cooked foods. Other spices mentioned in the Bible are cori- 
ander (Heb. gad) y cumin (Heb. kammon), and black cumin 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


(Heb. kezah, qezah). More delicate spices for special feasts 
were imported from Arabia and India, and were considered 
merchandise of the highest value. Among such spices were 
various types of pepper (Heb.pilpel), and ginger. 

foods produced by animals. During the biblical period, 
wild bee honey and eggs, especially birds* eggs, were eaten. 

dairy foods. Most dairy items were produced from sheep 
or goat milk, since cattle were scarce in the country. The use of 
cow's milk is attested by Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources, 
such as the "Banner of Ur" and various Egyptian steles, as early 
as the fourth millennium b.c.e. In Ur, cows were milked from 
behind and in Egypt from in front of the udder, with their rear 
legs tied together. Milk, connected as it was with the miracle of 
reproduction, was used in pagan cults, in which a kid would 
be cooked in its mothers milk. This practice was forbidden 
for the Israelites (Ex. 23:19; et al.). 

Milk was one the characteristic products of Erez Israel 
(Ex. 3:8; 33:3; Joel 4:18). A nourishing food, it was frequently 
drunk cold or was cooked with other foods, as well as serv- 
ing in other forms for medicinal purposes and ointments. 
Due to its importance, milk and its by-products served as 
offerings to gods and kings. The Bible mentions butter and 
various cheeses as milk-derived products. Butter was made 
by churning milk in vessels made especially for this purpose. 
Examples of these churns (Heb. mahbezah) have been found 
at Beersheba and elsewhere. The butterfat was separated as a 
result of the churning, and the excess liquid was evaporated 
in order to produce butter. In this concentrated form, it was 
used principally for cooking and frying. Cheese was made 
from soured milk. Milk was poured into special moulds in 
which it soured into hard lumps. These cheese lumps were 
dried in the sun or evaporated by cooking, producing curds 
(Job 10:10). A softer cheese was made in cloth bags filled with 
soured milk. The thin liquid filtered through the cloth while 
the soft cheese remained in the bag. The Hittites used cheese 
as an offering in their cult. 

wine. Most wine was produced from grapes. The vintage 
was brought to a winepress which was usually rock-cut. The 
grapes were spread on the broad upper surface of the press and 
tread upon by foot, in order to squeeze the liquid from them. 
This liquid (Heb. tirosh, "new wine") flowed down through a 
drainage channel into a vat in which the precipitates settled. 
From there it flowed to a second vat where it was collected. 
The drainage system was constructed so that the liquid flowed 
into the collecting vat only when the precipitation vat was 
filled. Thus, the heavier sediments such as waste matter, seeds, 
and skins had time to settle at the bottom of the vat, while the 
juice flowed into the collecting vat. The new wine was then 
transferred to vessels which were sealed and placed in a cool 
place to stand until the juice fermented by the action of the 
yeast in the fruit, becoming wine. There were several types of 
wine, some of which are mentioned in the Bible: a sparkling 
or foaming wine (Ps. 75:9); the wine of Helbon (Ezek. 27:18); 

spiced wine (Song 8:2); the wine of Lebanon (Hos. 14:8). The 
type of wine was determined by the grapes from which it was 
pressed, the time allowed for fermentation, and the age of 
the wine. Spices were added to improve the aroma and taste. 
The color was improved by steeping crushed grape skins in it. 
Sometimes wine was given an aroma by rubbing the winepress 
with wood resin. Wine was also made from raisins, dates, figs, 
and pomegranates. 

Wine was considered the choicest of drinks. It was used 
in libations before gods, as payment of taxes to kings, and was 
highly regarded as an item of trade. It was measured by liquid 
measure: the bat (11 Chron. 2:9) and the hin (Ex. 29:40; Sa- 
maria ostraca). Wine was hoarded in vessels of uniform size 
in the treasuries of the royal and the wealthy. Erez Israel was 
known for its fine wines and advanced methods of produc- 
tion. Some indication of this may be gained from the wide- 
spread occurrence of presses in archaeological excavations 
throughout the country. A good example of a rock-cut wine- 
press from the biblical period found at Gibeon has a broad sur- 
face for treading the grapes and several collecting vats. Wine 
was an intoxicant with a stimulating effect upon the human 
disposition. One who had taken Nazirite vows was therefore 
not permitted to drink it or to make any use of vine -de rived 
products. The Bible mentions houses which were visited for 
the purpose of drinking and becoming intoxicated (Song 2:4). 
Another vine product was vinegar, which was produced by ex- 
tra fermentation of new wine. It was used for seasoning foods, 
pickling vegetables, and medicinal purposes. 

oil. Oil was produced mainly from olives in olive presses 
designed for this purpose. There were three stages in its pro- 
duction. First, the hard olives were crushed into a soft paste. 
This was then squeezed, the crude oil flowing out as a result 
of the pressure. Finally, the crude oil was stored in vessels or 
vats for some time, in which the sediments and water from 
the olives settled and the pure oil rose to the surface. The oil 
was then collected in vessels for storage or use. Archaeologi- 
cal excavations have revealed numerous olive presses dating 
to the Hellenistic period. The earliest press excavated in the 
country was found at Tirat Yehudah near Lydda. This press 
has been reconstructed and transferred to the garden of the 
Israel Museum. 

Oil was used as a condiment for various dishes, to fry 
foods, especially meats, and as a component in certain dishes. 
Specially purified oils mixed with spices were used as oint- 
ments or for medicinal purposes. Sesame oil, produced in 
a similar way, was particularly fine. Like wine, oil was used 
as an offering to the gods and for payment of taxes to kings. 
Oil production was advanced in Erez Israel, as is attested by 
much documentary evidence, and the discovery of many ol- 
ive presses in various locations. 

[Ze'ev Yeivin] 

Post-Biblical Period 

characteristics of Jewish cookery. In their disper- 
sion throughout the world Jews have adopted many dishes of 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



the countries in which they found themselves, adapting them 
to conform to the requirements of the dietary laws. Economic 
factors have also played their part in the culinary sphere. 
Sometimes glamorous dishes have been created by enhancing 
poverty foods, influenced by local flavors and products. 

The laws regarding use of animal food and its prepa- 
ration require that all meat and poultry, having been killed 
in accordance with the laws of *shehitah, must be entirely 
drained of *blood. Observance of the dietary laws precludes 
the mixing or cooking of meat with milk; the Jewish cook is 
therefore debarred from using dairy products - butter, milk, 
or cream, etc. - in pastries, desserts, or other dishes which 
are to be eaten in conjunction with meat. Parveh (neutral) 
foods made with neither milk nor meat may be eaten with 
both. These include eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, and liquors. 
A parveh substitute for milk or cream has been introduced 
into the modern kitchen. 

The two main categories of Jewish cooking may be char- 
acterized as Oriental (broadly referred to as Sephardi) and 
Occidental (broadly referred to as Ashkenazi). While Sephardi 
cookery makes much use of spices, olive oil, rice, pulses, 
and lamb, Ashkenazi favors beef and bland vegetables, whose 
flavors are brought out by fats, sugar, and onions. Both feature 
many similar fowl and pastry dishes, and dishes having simi- 
lar historical and religious significance. Because of this latter 
significance there has developed in modern times a sort 
of "culinary Judaism," by which many people identify with 
the Jewish religion mainly through this preference for tradi- 
tional Jewish dishes. Indeed, assimilated Jewry in the orbit 
of the Hapsburg Empire from as early as the second half of 
the 19 th century knew the conception of "Fressfroemmigkeit" 
for somebody whose devoutness finds its expression mainly 
or entirely in his eating the proper customary dishes on each 


of the Bible maintained their hold in the homes of the com- 
munities of the Mediterranean and Middle East where the 
same products are still grown. Grapes, dates, olives, melons, 
figs, mulberries, pomegranates, nuts, carobs, citrons, apricots, 
are still basically used in and around the Holy Land, not only 
as fresh fruits but as preserves such as dried apricot sheets, 
carob syrup (dibbs), and citron confiture. Pulses and cere- 
als such as beans, lentils, cracked wheat (burghul), and spelt 
(rye) are used for Sephardi dishes as much as potatoes are in 
the West. The vegetables recorded in the Bible such as leeks, 
squash (also cucumbers of this family), and onions permeate 
Middle East cookery both for flavoring and as main dishes 
stuffed with meat. Cucumbers are preserved with dill, a herb 
that grows wild in Erez Israel. Mint is used for flavoring many 
dishes, particularly vegetable salads. Frequently used spices 
and herbs include garlic in meat, saffron and cumin in cakes, 
coriander in coffee, and cinnamon not only in desserts but in 
meat and poultry dishes. Lamb fat and olive oil, so popular 
in the Bible, continue as the main fats used in Oriental Jewish 

cooking. The meat of goats and sheep is still eaten in the Mid- 
dle East rather than beef and poultry. Pastries - usually deep 
fried - are dipped in honey or syrup among Eastern commu- 
nities. Some Oriental groups - such as the Yemenites - even 
bake the bread (called lakhoakh or hubs) as in biblical days on 
the wall of a primitive earthen oven heated with embers, the 
fire being put out before baking, or bake it like a griddle cake 
on a rounded iron over embers. Bread is customarily put on 
the table for every meal, and also salt, symbolizing the cov- 
enant (see above). 

In Eastern Europe among Ashkenazi communities milk 
foods and vegetables were the main fare during weekdays ow- 
ing to impoverished circumstances and the shortage of kasher 
meat. Animals were generally slaughtered for food only for 
Sabbaths or festivals, or for celebrations. Figuring largely in 
the diet were lokshen (noodles) or other farinaceous food, po- 
tatoes, barley, peas, and beans. From time to time these were 
supplemented by fish. For celebrations of a circumcision or 
a wedding it was customary to provide fish and meat meals, 
and to bake festival bread and buns from cake dough, as well 
as sponge cake, sandwich cake, fluden (fladen), strudel, and 
egg cookies. In honor of the bride and bridegroom gilderne 
yoikh ("golden broth" of chicken soup) was served. During 
the summer in Eastern Europe, jams and confections would 
be prepared from the local fruits, which were added to tea, of- 
fered to guests, or served for the Sabbath or on festivals. The 
juice of raspberries, cherries, and other berries was also pre- 
served. Preserves were made from plums and mushrooms, 
cucumbers were pickled, and sufficient sauerkraut was pre- 
pared for the whole year. In present-day Israel, Jewish cook- 
ing has been altered and adapted by each entry of new immi- 
grants in the melting pot process of integration between East 
and West. This and the introduction of new products, such as 
avocado, formerly rarely known, has resulted in new trends 
in Jewish cooking. 

Festival Cookery 

sabbath dishes. For Sabbath and other holidays all sorts 
and shapes oihallah breads (called also barkhes or tatsheres) 
are baked. In most countries the Sabbath loaves are braided. 
The loaves are frequently sprinkled with (poppy or sesame) 
seeds to represent manna. Two loaves represent the double 
portion of manna gathered in the wilderness before the Sab- 
bath. One of the two hallot on the tables of Hasidim is made 
of 12 rolls representing the 12 tribes, the loaf being referred to 
as yud-bet (= the number 12; Lev. 24:5-6). Fish is a standard 
food for Sabbath. The Talmud advises: "When may those who 
possess less than 50 shekels have the dish of vegetables and 
fish? Every Friday night of the Sabbath." In Eastern Europe, 
where fish was costly, the Jewish housewife made gefilte (filled) 
fish a popular dish. For gefilte fish the flesh is ground up, and 
bread, egg, onion, sugar, and pepper are added: after the fish 
is refilled it is stewed in onions. Carp and/or other types of 
fish may be used. Bukharan Jews eat fried fish dipped in garlic 
sauce with garlic bread. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


A typical Sabbath dish popular in every community be- 
cause it can be prepared beforehand and cooked overnight is 
cholent (Ashkenazi) - Oriental hamin - generally made with 
beans, fat meat, and potatoes. It is placed in a well-heated 
oven on Friday afternoon and allowed to cook slowly or sim- 
mer overnight until ready for the Sabbath meal. Ashkenazim 
may accompany the cholent with kugel (boiled pudding), 
stuffed helzl (neck skin), or kishke (stuffed derma), or a lok- 
shen (noodle) pudding, sometimes made of leaf pastry, or a 
rice and raisin pudding. Bukharan Jews serve a rice cholent 
called bahsh, layered with meat, liver, and vegetables, with rice 
and spices cooked in a bag in water: the liquid is not used. It 
was customary for gentiles to wait near the synagogue before 
prayers with kettles of boiling water; they would be given the 
bahsh bag for cooking and return it after prayers. Bukharan 
Jews also bake mamossa (meat or fruit pie) for Sabbath, and eat 
cold meat (yachni) or kabab-pieces of meat and onion, dipped 
in salt and roasted on a spit before Sabbath. Kishke (Ashkenazi 
stuffed derma) is often eaten as a main dish for Sabbath, its 
Oriental equivalent being nakahoris. Ashkenazim use an on- 
ion and flour filling, and eastern communities fill the derma 
with ground meat, pine nuts, cinnamon, and sharp pepper. 
Persian Jews eat rice foods (pilaw) and a sort of meat pud- 
ding called gipa (stomach filled with rice). Often served as an 
appetizer on Sabbath is pitcha (also called cholodny, pilsa, fis- 
noga, drelyes; Heb. regel kerushah) - jellied calf s foot or jel- 
lied chicken with garlic and spices. In Yemen it is called kuri. 
Other appetizers are chopped (gehakte) herring, chopped 
egg and onion, or chopped liver (Ashkenazi). A traditional 
accompaniment to the Sabbath meal in Ashkenazi homes is 
poultry soup - usually served with deep-fried pastas called 
mandeln ("almonds") to symbolize the manna of the Bible. 
Side dishes include (Ashkenazi), a stew made usually 
of carrots, parsnips, or plums with potatoes. The Lithuanian 
rutabaga is turnip tsimes. Compotes of dried fruits, such as 
flohmen kompot made with the addition of blanched almonds 
and honey, are a traditional East European Sabbath dessert. 
Torten-sponge cakes, mandelbrot - almond cookies - and 
stru dels -filled rolled pastries, are of Central European origin. 
Yemenite Jews serve a traditional Sabbath pastry, similar to 
kugel., cooked overnight, sometimes with cottage cheese, called 
ghininun, or an overnight baked yeast cake, kubaneh. Pestelas 
(sesame-seed-topped pastry filled with pine nuts, meat, onion, 
and delicately flavored) also called burekas, are often served in 
Sephardi homes after the Sabbath service. So as to be able to 
pronounce the blessings: bore peri ha-ez; ha-gefen; ha-adamah; 
mezonoty before the Sabbath repast and after, Yemenite Jews 
eat ga'le-roast peanuts, raisins, almonds, fruit, and candy. For 
melavveh malkah on Saturday night Hasidim eat a specially 
cooked barley soup with meat. Wine is drunk at the Sabbath 
meals, and brandy. Eastern Jews drink arak. 

passover. Passover foods vary in Sephardi and Ashkenazi 
communities. Ashkenazim exclude rice, while it is served by 
Sephardim. Most Ashkenazim avoid the use of pepper be- 

cause it is sometimes mixed with flour and crumbs by trad- 
ers. Hasidim do not eat soaked matzah on Passover except on 
the last day (in the Diaspora). 

The several varieties of matzah include matzah shemu- 
rahy egg matzah y and sugar matzah. The exclusion of leaven 
from the home has resulted in a rich menu of matzah meal and 
potato foods for Passover, such as dumplings and pancakes. 
Popular are the dumplings known as kneydl (Ashkenazi) of 
various types made from either matzah meal or broken up 
matzah. Some are filled with meat or liver or fruits, used for 
soups or side dishes or desserts. Potato flour is largely used in 
cakes along with finely ground matzah meal and nuts. Pop- 
ular Ashkenazi dishes are matzah brie (fried crumbled mat- 
zah with grated onion), matzah latkes (pancakes) and khrem- 
zlakh (also called crimsel or gres elies; matzah meal fritters). 
Wined matzah kugels (puddings) have been introduced into 
modern Jewish cooking. For thickening soups and sauces at 
Passover fine matzah meal or potato flour is used instead of 
flour: for frying fish or cutlets, a coating of matzah meal and 
egg, and for stuffings, potatoes instead of soaked bread. "Noo- 
dles" may be made by making pancakes with beaten eggs and 
matzah meal which, when cooked, are rolled up and cut into 
strips. They maybe dropped into soup before serving. Matzah 
kleys - dumplings - are small balls made from suet mixed with 
chopped fried onions, chopped parsley, beaten egg, and sea- 
sonings, dropped into soup and cooked. In Oriental countries 
and in old Jerusalem sheep-tail fat was prepared for Passover. 
Oriental Passover dishes -dxejahthut (Yemenite) - a soup stew 
made with matzah meal - and Turkish minas and mahmuras - 
layers of matzah with fillings of cheese, vegetables, or meats. 
In Sephardi homes haroset is served as a treat and not just as a 
taste. The khreyn - horseradish relish - originating as an Ash- 
kenazi Passover dish - is popular all the year round. The radish 
eyngemakhtSy still retained as a confiture among Ashkenazim, 
may have had its culinary beginnings in talmudic days when 
the radish was referred to as an elixir of life. A Passover bev- 
erage is mead, instead of beer, which includes leaven. Raisin 
wine is also used for the Four Cups at the Seder. A kasher li- 
quor from potatoes was brewed in Eastern Europe. 

shavuot. Serving of dairy dishes on Shavuot is custom- 
ary among Jews everywhere. In celebration of the giving of 
the Law from Sinai, Mount-Sinai-shaped sweets and cakes 
are served in many Eastern and Western communities. Ash- 
kenazi Jews bake saffron bread, butter cookies with cheese, 
cheese twist or cheese hallah (in Germany called kauletsch, 
specially for those who have observed the sen rah -counting 
of the Omer). Popular Shavuot dishes are blintses (pancakes) 
filled with meat or cheese and sour cream, kreplakh (dough 
filled with cheese, meat, groats or fruit, shaped into triangles 
or hearts and boiled), strudels (Germany), cheese cakes (Po- 
land), cheese pies (United States), and knishes (yeast dough 
filled with meat and/or potatoes, cheese or fruit and baked 
(Lithuania). A dairy beet borsht with sour cream, or a cold 
chlodnik (cucumber soup) or shtshav (cold sorrel soup) is 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



also served on Shavuot. Some Sephardim bake a Seven Heav- 
ens cake to symbolize the "seven heavens" which God rent at 
the giving of the Torah. Sephardi Jews use ewes salted cheese 
and make savory dairy dishes like shpongous (a cheese-spin- 
ach bake), Cottage cheese, popular everywhere, is associated 
with legends such as the Israelites* late return to the camp af- 
ter receiving the Commandments from Mount Sinai when 
the milk had already soured. 

av. During the Nine Days between the First and Ninth of Av, 
no wine or meat is eaten (except on the Sabbath) as a sign of 
mourning for the destruction of the Temple. Both Ashkenazim 
and Sephardim eat farinaceous and other pastry food baked 
or boiled, and accompanied with cheese. The fast of the Ninth 
of Av is observed after a milk meal which includes a bagel - a 
crusty doughnut-shaped bun - or an egg dipped in ashes. 

rosh ha-shanah. On Rosh Ha-Shanah the hallah loaf is 
baked round or coin-shaped to signify blessings all the year 
round. All communities eat sweet fruits to evoke a sweet year, 
and honey for sweetness is added to many dishes. Until after 
Sukkot, bread is dipped in honey for the benediction instead of 
the usual salt in order to symbolize a sweet year. On the second 
night of New Year apples are eaten dipped in honey, also white 
grapes and watermelons. The leykah honey cake is traditional 
among Ashkenazim, since lekah means "portion" and the cake 
signifies the prayer "Give them a goodly portion." 

Sweetened fish dishes with raisins and honey lebkukhen y 
leibkuchen, are primarily eaten in Western homes (originat- 
ing in Switzerland). A head of a fish served without a tail (or 
the head of a lamb in Oriental homes) symbolizes, according 
to the Shulhan Arukh, "being at the head and not the tail." In 
many Sephardi homes it is served to the father of the family. 

All sorts of fruits and vegetables are selected for eating 
on Rosh Ha-Shanah because of their symbolic associations 
and endless possibilities of word play. Sephardim place on the 
table a traskal - a covered basket of fruit and vegetables - and 
as the father of the family takes out some fruit, those present 
repeat a suitable verse, as for the pomegranate, "May our mer- 
its multiply like pomegranate seeds." Carrot symbol- 
izes prosperity because the slices are coin-shaped and golden 
in color and is also linked with an involved play of words in 
German. Hasidim use beetroots or beet leaves (selek) in the 
blessings she-yistalleku oyeveinu "to get rid of our enemies"; 
bkeila, a dish of this green leaf and beans, is popular among 
Tunisian Jewry. The Yemenite hilbeh (fenugreek sauce) is 
called rubiya in Hebrew and therefore eaten to signify sheh- 
yirbu ("to multiply"). 


Day of Atonement Ashkenazim eat ladder-or bird-trimmed 
bread so that prayers should rise quicker to Heaven. In the 
morning many communities would distribute the loaves 
free at the entrance to the graveyard where people visited 
the graves of their forefathers, and honey cakes with a glass 
of wine. Before the fast, atonement (kapparah) meat is gen- 

erally eaten. Ashkenazi homes usually serve kreplakh in the 
soup of the boiled kapparah chicken (though in many families 
the chicken is given to the poor). The white-feathered bird, 
symbolic of purity, assumes the role of the scapegoat slaugh- 
tered as a sin offering. 

The fast is broken in Central European communities by 
eating barkes, or shneken - buns with cinnamon and nuts and/ 
or raisins. To restock the body with salt, herring dishes such 
as chopped herring, pickled herring, or zise-zoyre (sweet and 
sour) pickled jellied fish are taken. Many Sephardi communi- 
ties break the fast with spiced coffee -cinnamon (Dutch), car- 
damon (Syrian and Egyptian), and ginger with these spices 
(Yemen). Some Middle Eastern communities - Turkish, 
Greek, Iraqi - break the fast with a snow-white almond or 
other seed drink called mizzo or soubiya or soumada, the 
white color symbolizing purity. Iraqi Jews eat chadjoobadah 
cardamon cakes. Italians serve dolce Rebecca (spiced mocha 
cake), and many Oriental groups eat sesame (sumsum) cake- 
lets. Bamya (okra) in tomato sauce is an Iraqi end of Day of 
Atonement dish. 

sukkot. Dishes traditional to Sukkot are adopted from the 
lands of the Diaspora, mostly because they proved convenient 
for serving in the sukkah. These include cabbage-meat borsht 
(Russian origin), Hungarian goulash - meat stew with pa- 
prika and onions: kibbeh - a Middle Eastern burghul-coated 
deep-fried meat dish served with various fillings; kasher Greek 
moussaka - eggplant meat casserole; holeptses also called 
praakes, galuptzes - rice and ground meat rolled in cabbage 
leaves - and sarmis - vine leaves filled with rice, pine nuts, and 
chopped meat filling. Still popular is the fluden (also known 
disfladen) - a layered dessert of dough and fruits symbolic of 
the harvested crops referred to in Judeo-German cooking re- 
cords of the 12 th century. For Hoshana Rabba, the seventh day 
of Sukkot, the hallah loaf is sometimes marked with a hand, 
symbolic of reaching for blessings, or key-shaped, that the 
door of heaven may be opened to admit prayers. 

simhat torah and sabbath bereshit. For Simhat Torah 
a round carrot sandwich (or slices) with honey symbolizes 
gold coins and the worth of the Torah. Sabbath Bereshit was 
formerly known in Vilna as the "honey Sabbath." The wives 
of religious functionaries baked honey cake with the honey 
their husbands received as a gift from the synagogue wardens 
for the festivals, and sold them. The proceeds enabled them to 
stock up with food and timber for the winter months. 

hanukkah. For Hanukkah, Jews of all communities eat 
pastry and potato preparations fried in oil as a reminder of 
the miracle of the cruse of oil at the rededication of the Tem- 
ple. Ashkenazim called them latkes y or fasputshes, or pon- 
tshkes. They are called zalaviyye (Yemen), dushpire (Bukhara), 
ata-if (Iraq), spanzes (Tripoli), and by Sephardim in general 
birmenailes. Hence the Israel sufganiyyot - doughnuts - of 
Hanukkah and the levivot (latkes - potato cakes) have a long 
tradition. A popular East European salad of this festival is 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the retekh salat of radish, turnip, olives, and onions fried in 
goose fat with gribenes or grivn (cracklings), all the ingredi- 
ents being popular in the Maccabean era. As fat for Hanukkah 
is rendered from the goose used for Passover, this poultry 
(and related game like the Dutch ganzebord) is a popular 
Hanukkah dish, and grivn are often served with the latkes. In 
Czechoslovakia a shortbread cookie is made of goose crack- 
lings (grameln) for this holiday. Yemen Jews eat lahisgizar on 
Hanukkah, a sort of carrot stew, carrots being the vegetable 
in season. 

tu bi-shevat. As Sabbath Be-Shalah falls only a few days be- 
fore Tu bi-Shevat (the Fifteenth of Shevat) many foods for this 
day are linked to the New Year of Trees. Dutch Jews make Be- 
Shallah calling it kugel met waatz to symbolize the manna and 
sauce for the Red Sea where the Egyptians were drowned pur- 
suing the Israelites. Swiss French and some groups from Ger- 
many serve a wheat garnish in broth for this reason. Italians 
make a dish called ruota difaraone (Pharaohs wheel). Pomer- 
antsen - candied citrus fruits - are popular on this day. 

Fresh and dried fruits are served to symbolize the har- 
vests of the trees planted on Tu bi-Shevat in the Holy Land. 
The bokser - carob fruit (St. Johns bread) - has found its way 
around the world for this festival. In Switzerland and other 
places 15 fruits to coincide with Tu (= 15) are eaten. Rich 
dried fruit strudels are often served on Tu bi-Shevat as har- 
vest symbols. 

In many Sephardi communities a home service is held 
at the table where blessings are pronounced over wheat, bar- 
ley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. Sephardim 
would distribute mabt perot ("fruit money"). At "white-red 
wine" parties each child is presented with a bolsa de frutas 
("bag of fruit"). Hasidic groups arrange large fruit parties 
for which in the Diaspora they try to obtain fruit from Erez 

purim. The Purim festival has a long culinary history. Re- 
corded in the humorous tractate Massekhet Purim written by 
Kalonymus b. Kalonymus is the Purim menu listing 27 differ- 
ent meat dishes. All communities make pastries representing 
Hainan's hats, Hainan's pockets, or Hainan's ears, They are 
known by different names but similarly filled with poppyseed 
(Ger. mohn - a sound resembling "Haman"). Some Ashke- 
nazi groups also fill them with, povidl - plum jam - to com- 
memorate the rescue of Jews in Bohemia about 250 years ago 
when a plum merchant was saved from persecution. In Italy 
ciambella di Purim is a popular pastry, as are Hamantashen in 
Eastern Europe and mohn plaetzen - poppyseed cookies - in 
Western Europe. Haman's ears (Heb. oznei haman) - a fried 
pastry sprinkled with sugar are called Hamansoren (Holland), 
Hamman-Muetzen (Germany), Schunzuchen (Switzerland and 
French-Lorraine), Heizenblauzen (Austria), diples (Greece), 
shamleya (Turkey), and orecchie de Aman (Italy). Accord- 
ing to folk tradition the custom originates from the punish- 
ment of criminals whose ears were cut off before hanging. 

Hamantashen are symbolic of Haman's pockets stuffed with 
bribe money. The Purim hallah loaf (given the Russian name 
keylitsh) is giant-sized and braided, representing the long 
ropes used to hang Haman. Sephardim fill similar pastries 
with meat, vegetables, or fruit. For mishloah-manot ("send- 
ing of presents") on Purim, women in Eastern communities 
make sugar-starch fingers in various colors, and non-Jews 
in Eastern lands call Purim 3 id al-sukar, the sugar festival. 
It was customary in Persia to distribute, after the reading of 
the Book of Esther, haalva kashka, a pleasantly spiced des- 
sert. All Sephardi and Eastern communities bake sweet cakes 
filled with almonds or other nuts, all sorts of marzipan, spe- 
cial puralis cake containing a whole egg, and various sorts 
of pancakes called in Iraq zingula. In Salonika and Istanbul, 
women baked kulimas, barikas, or sambusach-khavsh - dough 
filled with meat. 

See also ^Cookbooks. 

[Molly Lyons Bar-David and Yom-Tov Lewinski] 

bibliography: Dalman, Arbeit, 4 (1935), 26off.; R.J. Forbes, 
Studies in Ancient Technology, 3 (1955), 50-105; C. Singer, et al. (eds.), 
A History of Technology, 1 (1954), 270-85; 2 (1956), 103 ff.; N. de Garis 
Davies, The Tomb ofNakht at Thebes (1917), pi. 22; U. Cassuto, A Com- 
mentary on the Book of Genesis. 2 vols. (1961), passim; idem, A Com- 
mentary on the Book of Exodus (1967), passim; J.B. Pritchard, Winery, 
Defenses and Soundings at Gibeon (1964), 25-27, figs. 54-55; Z. Yeivin, 
in: Attiqot (English Series), 3 (1966), 52-62; S. Krauss, Kadmoniyyot 
ha-Talmud, 2 (1929), 93-276; A. Wiener, Die juedischen Speisegese- 
tze (1895); J. Elzet (Zlotnik), Yidishe Maakholim (1920); M. Kosover, 
in: Yuda A. Yofe-Bukh (1958), 1-145; B. Safran, Di Yidishe Kikh in 
Ale Lender (1930); Y. Kafah, Halikhot Teiman (1962), chs. 1, 3-5; L. 
Cornfeld, Ha-Bishul ha-Tov (1967); idem, Israeli Cookery (1962); 
M.L. Bar-David, Jewish Cooking for Pleasure (1965); idem, Sefer Bi- 
shul Folklori (1964). 

FORCALQUIERS, village in the Basses-Alpes department, 
S.E. France, approximately 50 mi. (about 80 km.) east of 
Avignon. The medieval Jewish community, which existed at 
least from 1275, occupied a separate quarter and owned a syna- 
gogue. The ledger of a single merchant of Forcalquiers records 
20 Jews as his customers between 1330 and 1332. In 1351, pos- 
sibly still in the aftermath of the *Black Death, anti-Jewish 
disorders broke out in Forcalquiers in which the population of 
the surrounding villages also took part. It is reported that in 
1424 several inhabitants of Forcalquiers and Manosque formed 
a plot to kill all the Jews in the town. In 1472, a citizen of 
Forcalquiers was appointed guardian (conservateur) of all 
the Jews of Provence. The community in Forcalquiers was 
among the first to feel the effects of the definitive decrees of 
expulsion of i486. Toward the end of the 18 th century, some 
Jewish merchants, originating from the *Comtat Venaissin, 
attempted to settle in Forcalquiers but were expelled in 1775. 
In 1940 there were 72 Jews in the labor camp which had been 
set up in the district. About 14 Jewish families, mostly as- 
sisted by refugees' organization, were registered in Forcalqui- 
ers in 1942. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



bibliography: Levi, in: rej, 37 (1898), 259-65; 41 (1900), 
274-5; C. Bernard, Essai historique sur ... Forcalquiers (1905), 90-91, 
99, 122, 130, 153; Z. Szajkowski, Franco-Judaica (1962), nos. 14, 337; 
idem, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 154. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 

FORCED (Slave) LABOR. The term forced labor (Zwangsar- 
beit) is not well defined. Forced labor is commonly understood 
as an employment relationship of a member of a persecuted 
political or a specific ideological (weltanschauliche) grouping, 
or an ethnic group, or a people, a relationship arisen by force, 
and indissoluble, that did not consider the abilities, age, or sex 
of the forced laborer, that meant defenselessness concerning 
legal rights and a high rate of mortality due to bad living and 
working conditions as well as National Socialistic persecution. 
In Anglo-Saxon usage the term forced labor is distinguished 
from slave labor that ghetto and concentration camp prison- 
ers and Jews in specific Forced Labor Camps (flc) had to 
perform. Among other things slave labor is characterized by 
a considerably higher rate of mortality. In German-speaking 
usage the term slave labor has not become common, because 
slaves were without rights and they were exploited, but unlike 
ss and other ns organizations, the slaveholder ordinarily was 
interested in keeping the slave alive. 

In the German Reich after January 30, 1933, at first pris- 
oners of the early concentration camps were recruited to 
forced labor, for instance, politically persecuted Social Demo- 
crats or Communists. It was then already that murder was in- 
volved. From the end of 1938 on, German Jews were next and 
forced labor became an element of their persecution by the ns 
state. It was not until the outbreak of World War 11, and the 
occupation of Poland, that forced laborers were recruited in 
vast numbers, when hundreds of thousands of Polish people 
were deported to the Reich. Also in the occupied Polish ter- 
ritory itself many forced laborers were deployed. From Oc- 
tober 1939, the Jewish residents there became liable to work, 
later having a general duty of forced labor. Within the Reich 
forced laborers worked in agriculture, mining, and industry, 
as well as to enlarge military infrastructure. 

The significant importance of forced labor for the Reich 
and its warfare becomes obvious regarding German agricul- 
ture. Without approximately 2 million foreign laborers, by 
the end of 1940, sufficient production of food to supply all 
the inhabitants would have become impossible. From autumn 
1941 on the German wartime economy depended without 
other options on foreign labor. Since not enough foreigners 
came voluntarily, more and more forced recruitment was uti- 
lized, especially from spring 1942 on by Fritz Sauckel, general 
plenipotentiary for the employment of labor (Generalbev- 
ollmaechtigter fuer den Arbeitseinsatz). The largest number 
of foreign laborers in the area of the Reich was registered in 
August 1944 at 7,615,970. Among these were about 1.9 million 
prisoners of war and 5.7 million civilians. Of the 7.6 million, 
2.8 million were from the Soviet Union, 1.7 million from Po- 
land, and 1.3 million from France. Altogether, during World 

War 11, up to 13.5 million men, women, and children were 
brought to the Reich and forced to labor. 

With the expansion of the war and the successive oc- 
cupation of a wider territory in Europe, forced laborers were 
displaced from those areas into the Reich, from 1942 onwards 
mainly inhabitants of the occupied Soviet Union. In addition, 
more and more forced labor was deployed within the occu- 
pied territories themselves. Likewise, in countries allied to the 
Reich, specific ethnic groups and other groupings were forced 
to labor. For example, in Bulgaria from 1941 onwards, there 
were Jewish labor battalions as well as Turkish and Greek ones. 
All of them worked particularly for the expansion of an in- 
frastructure essential for the war. In Hungary, in addition to 
the Jews, also Serbs and Romanians were recruited for labor 
battalions. The importance of the Jewish labor battalions for 
Hungary becomes apparent, when it is observed that in Oc- 
tober 1943 more than 112,000 Jews had to labor for the Hun- 
garian army, and in October 1944 approximately 180,000. In 
Vichy-France as well, where from October 1940 there had 
been a special labor service for foreigners, among them many 
Jews who had fled from Germany and Austria and who, in the 
Groupements des Travailleurs Etrangers (gte), were forced to 
carry out many kinds of labor. Also in Fascist Italy, in Croa- 
tia, Romania, and Slovakia, to a variable extent, people were 
obliged to do forced labor, among them, many Jews. 

In the Reich there were considerable differences con- 
cerning the treatment of forced laborers. Subject to the most 
brutal conditions were the prisoners of concentration camps, 
including their subcamps (Aussenlager). The actual living 
conditions of the other forced laborers depended on the fol- 
lowing factors: 

1) Their ranking according to National Socialist race doc- 
trine: Norwegians and Dutch were regarded as "Aryan* and 
"Germanic" and put on top of the hierarchy. Therefore they 
had to cope with less discrimination. People from the Soviet 
Union (but not people from the still independent Baltic States 
until 1940) were regarded as members of an inferior race and 
therefore were treated most brutally. 

2) Country of origin: While people from the disinte- 
grated states like Poland and Yugoslavia (insofar as Serbs and 
Slovenians were concerned) had no protection from their gov- 
ernments, French, Croatians, and Norwegians could at least 
hope for intervention by their governments, even though they 
were dependent on the Reich. People from allied countries, 
such as Bulgaria and Hungary, had conditions most similar 
to German workers. However, even these could not return 
home freely, at the earliest from 1943 onwards, and were ex- 
posed to discrimination in their German domiciles and their 

3) The work location: There were great differences de- 
pending on whether a forced laborer was deployed in rural 
areas or in the cities. In the country, surveillance and persecu- 
tion by the ns authorities were less comprehensive and basic 
food was easier to come by. In the cities not only resources 
essential for survival like foodstuffs and clothing were hard to 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


get, also the oppression machinery was better developed and 
the threat of air raids was much more serious. 

4) The firm: The larger the company and the more im- 
personal the contact between Germans and foreigners be- 
came, the more probable were brutal living and labor con- 
ditions. In big companies, where Germans and foreigners 
hardly interacted at all, bad living and labor conditions were 
more than likely. 

There were roughly three phases of forced labor: 

The first phase was the prewar period. Between 1933 and 
1939 forced labor was of marginal importance. It was mainly 
used as a way to oppress political dissidents, and, from 1938 
onwards, for the persecution of German Jews. 

Phase Two began with the German aggression against 
Poland and ended with the turn of the year 1942. At that time, 
forced labor became a mass phenomenon. With the occupa- 
tion of a wider territory many people came under the sway 
of the ns leaders. Therefore, even in Libya and Tunisia, Jews 
had to work for the German forces (Wehrmacht). At the same 
time, against the European Jews, forced labor was used as an 
element of mass murder. A similar attitude can also be ob- 
served in countries allied to the German Reich. 

With the territorial changes, the Hungarians obtained 
control over parts of Slovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia, in- 
cluding non-Hungarian parts of the population. In addition, 
forced labor tasks for Hungarian Jews were gradually in- 
creased and intensified. After the occupation of Yugoslavian 
and Greek territories, Bulgaria acted on a similar basis. Here, 
besides the Jews and Turks, forced labor was directed mainly 
against Greeks, not the Macedonian population, as the parts of 
Macedonia occupied in April 1941 (Vardar-Macedonia) were 
seen as an integral part of the state by the Bulgarian leaders, 
the core, of medieval Bulgaria. 

The third and last phase began in 1943 and ended with 
the surrender of the Reich in May 1945. With the change of 
the war situation also the character of forced labor changed 
distinctly. On the one hand, discrimination against East Euro- 
peans with regard to labor laws and social rights were de jure 
gradually toned down. On the other hand, the threat to exis- 
tence, from the security forces of the ns state, became more 
and more grave. In particular the change in jurisdiction con- 
cerning offenses by forced laborers from the judiciary to the 
Reichssicherheitshauptamt (rsha) resulted in considerably 
more brutal persecution for even the slightest infraction. The 
rsha sent many Poles and Soviet citizens (Ostarbeiter) to con- 
centration camps, where most of them were murdered. Dur- 
ing the last months of the war, arbitrary measures increased 
and grew to real mass murder; mainly East Europeans were 
the victims. 

Jews and Forced Labor 

The situation of Jewish forced laborers under German rule 
was different from all other cases. For them, in the occupied 
territories, there was special jurisdiction. At the latest from 
summer 1941 onwards, the National Socialist leaders had only 

one aim: the murder of all Jews. Accordingly, the phases of 
forced labor that involved Jews differ from the general kind 
of forced labor. For example, judicial reforms, especially for 
the East Europeans, did not concern Jews. Furthermore, cer- 
tain factors did not affect their living conditions: within the 
Reich Jews were not designated to work in agriculture. Some 
of the allied countries, like Bulgaria and Croatia, were not 
interested in saving their Jewish citizens who were living in 
the German sphere of influence, and therefore they exposed 
them to death. 

The German and Austrian Jews were the first to be sys- 
tematically used for forced labor. From December 1938, all 
unemployed Jews and those on welfare were subjected to 
"locked-up labor" (geschlossener Arbeitseinsatz), organized 
by the employment offices. Their employees were instructed 
to put them in separate platoons or camps. All Jews, regard- 
less of their educational background, were employed and re- 
munerated as unskilled workers. In July 1939, already 20,000 
Jews were in labor service working in road construction and 
underground engineering, in the construction of canals, and 
in dam projects, as well as on waste deposit sites. 

After the war had begun, also more and more Jewish 
women were seized for forced labor. From autumn 1940 on- 
wards, all Jewish men and women fit for work were con- 
scripted and forced to work at various jobs, mostly in in- 
dustry. In summer 1941, over 51,000 people were working as 
forced laborers, which represented about 30 per cent of the 
approximately 167,000 Jews still living in the territory of the 
Reich. These had to wear a special armband for identification. 
By January 1943, because of the deportation of many to the 
exterminations camps, their number was reduced to around 
20,000. After the end of the so-called Fabrikaktion, in Feb- 
ruary 1943, another 12,000 were deported, and the remaining 
Jews (mostly "protected" by their intermarriage status) were 
forced to work until the end of the war. In autumn 1944, also 
so-called half-Jews (Mischlinge) had to work in "locked-up 
labor" for the Organisation Todt (ot), and were deployed in 
the Reich or in France. 

In occupied Poland, the so-called Generalgouvernement> 
from October 1939 on, male Jews were on labor duty between 
the age 14 and 60, and later also women. This labor duty, how- 
ever, did not yet lead to universal confinement of Jews in labor 
camps. There were numerous free de facto working relation- 
ships. Unlike the situation in the Reich, ghettos for the Jewish 
population were installed in many Polish cities. Some of the 
Jews detained there had to work outside, others were deployed 
in ghetto workshops. They worked for municipal institutions, 
for the ghetto administration, and for private firms based in 
and around the ghettos. 

Besides the ghettos, a system of flcs was developed. In 
summer 1942 up to 1.5 million Jews were in detention, and 
about half of them were in forced labor. The flc were ex- 
panded especially from July 1942 on, after Heinrich *Him- 
mler ordered the annihilation of all Polish Jews by the end of 
the year. Only those who performed forced labor in the arms 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



industry were to be kept alive. These flcs were run by the ss, 
and therefore the living and internment conditions were com- 
parable to those in concentration camps. But even Jews from 
the flcs and from the ghettos performing essential war labor 
were deported to the exterminations camps and murdered, or 
brought to concentration camps and forced to work there. The 
conditions were so bad that many Jews died of exhaustion af- 
ter only a few weeks or months, if not selected out as "unfit 
for work" (arbeitsunfaehig) and murdered. 

In the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, after the 
mass shootings in 1941, similar conditions existed. The Jews 
there were put into labor platoons and facilities, forced to 
work, e.g., for the Wehrmacht, and they, as well, were detained 
in ghettos and flcs. Also the majority of these Jews, even if 
engaged in essential war work, were murdered, and only a few 
were deported to concentration camps to further exploit their 
productive capacity. 

The conditions of the Jews doing forced labor in coun- 
tries allied to the Reich varied greatly. The Hungarian Jewish 
labor battalions, especially the ones deployed on the eastern 
front or at mines in Bor, Serbia, as well as the Romanian labor 
battalions doing road and railway construction work and the 
Bulgarian labor battalions that were used for the expansion 
of the infrastructure, some of them also working for the ot, 
had to suffer from horrendous living and internment condi- 
tions similar to those in the concentrations camps of the ss. 
However, the circumstances of Italian Jews, in forced labor 
from 1942 on, were better. In Italy; probably none of the Jews 
died there, whereas in the Hungarian labor battalions tens of 
thousands were killed. 

In spring 1944 the Nazis again changed their policy to- 
ward the Jewish forced laborers. Even though, until then, 
there was no provision made for the deployment of Jewish 
kz prisoners in the Reich outside the concentration camp 
complex of Auschwitz, now, because of lack of workers, up to 
100,000 Hungarian Jews were selected in Auschwitz for labor 
service in the territory of the Reich. Those Jews had to labor 
almost exclusively in the arms industry and for the construc- 
tion of production facilities underground. Due to the disas- 
trous conditions there and the very hard labor, the death rate 
was enormous. 

After the end of World War 11 forced labor was not taken 
into account by the compensation laws decreed by the Federal 
Republic of Germany between 1953 and 1965. Only the impris- 
onment in ghettos, flcs, and concentration camps was com- 
pensated, but only for a select circle of survivors. Most of the 
surviving forced laborers originated from Eastern Europe and 
returned to their home countries after the war. They did not 
receive any compensation because West Germany refused to 
made payments into Eastern Bloc countries. 

The German Democratic Republic refused, on principle, 
to pay former East European forced laborers any benefits for 
the crimes of the National Socialists. The New York-based 
^Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against the German 
Nation, between the 1950s and the 1960s, succeeded in getting 

payments for former forced laborers in a handful of West Ger- 
man firms, such as i.g. Farbenindustrie, AEG/Telefunken, and 
Siemens. However, the majority of the forced laborers could 
not receive any compensation payments until the creation of 
the "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" Foundation in 
2000. From the year 2001 on approximately 1.6 million people 
received up to DM15,000 from the Foundation. 

bibliography: history: E.L. Homze, Foreign Labor in 
Nazi Germany (1967); U. Herbert (ed.), Europa und der "Reichsein- 
satz" Auslaendische Zivilarbeiter, Kriegsgefangene und Kz-Haeftlinge 
in Deutschland 1938-1945 (1991); H. Mommsen and M. Krieger, Das 
Volkswagenwerk und seine Arbeiter im Dritten Reich (1996); W. Gruner, 
Der geschlossene Arbeitseinsatz deutscher Juden. Zur Zwangsarbeit als 
Element der Verfolgung 1938-1943 (1997); U. Herbert, Fremdarbeiter. 
Politik und Praxis des "Auslaender-Einsatzes" in der Kriegswirtschaft 
des Dritten Reiches (1999); A. Schaefer, Zwangsarbeiter und Ns-Ras- 
senpolitik. Russische und polnische Arbeitskraefte in Wuerttemberg 
1939-1945 (2000); W. Gruner, Zwangsarbeit und Verfolgung. Oester- 
reichische Juden im Ns-Staat 1938-45 (2000); M Spoerer, Zwangsarbeit 
unter dem Hakenkreuz. Auslaendische Zivilarbeiter, Kriegsgefangene 
und Haeftlinge im Deutschen Reich und im besetzten Europa 1939-1945 
(2001); M. Spoerer and J. Fleischhacker, "Forced Laborers in Nazi 
Germany: Categories, Numbers and Survivors," in: Journal of Inter- 
disciplinary History 33 (2002), 169-204. Belgium: E Selleslagh, Lem- 
ploi de la main doeuvre beige sous Voccupation (1972). Bulgaria: J. 
Hoppe, "Zwangsarbeit von Juden in Bulgarien waehrend des Zweiten 
Weltkriegs. Die juedischen Arbeitsbataillone 1941-1944," in: Suedost- 
Forschungen 64 (2006). France: J. Evrard, La deportation des tra- 
vailleurs francais dans leni e Reich (1972). Hungary: R. Braham, The 
Wartime System of Labor Service in Hungary. Varieties of Experiences 
(1995). Netherlands: BA. Sijes, De Arbeidsinzet. De gedwongen ar- 
beid van Nederlanders in Duitsland, 1940-1945 (1990). Romania: R. 
Ioanid, The Holocaust in Romania. The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies 
under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944 (2000). indemnification: 
B.B. Ferencz, Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced labor and the Quest for 
Compensation (1979); C. Pross, Wiedergutmachung. Der Kleinkrieg 
gegen die Opfer (1988); C. Goschler, Wiedergutmachung. Westdeutsch- 
land und die Verfolgten des Nationalsozialismus, 1945-1954 (1992); R 
Zumbansen (ed.)> Ns-Forced labor: Remembrance and Responsibil- 
ity. Legal and Historical Observations (2002); S.E. Eizenstat, Imper- 
fect Justice. Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of 
World Warn (2003); S.S. Spiliotis, Verantwortung und Rechtsfrieden. 
Die Stiftungsinitiative der deutschen Wirtschaft (2003); H.G. Hockerts 
(ed.), Nach der Verfolgung. Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen 

Unrechts in Deutschland? (2003). 

[Jens Hoppe (2 nd ed.)] 

FORD, ALEXANDER (1908-1984), Polish film producer. 
Born in Lodz, Ford worked in Palestine in 1933 with a Polish 
unit making a story-documentary, Sabra. His Droga Mlodych 
("Road of the Young," 1936), banned in Poland, was exhib- 
ited in Paris. He became the director of Film Polski in 1945. 
He gained recognition for Ulica Graniczna ("Border Street," 
Venice gold medal, 1948), which dealt with the Warsaw ghetto. 
Mlodosc Chopina ("Youth of Chopin," 1952), Piaetka z Ulicy 
Barskiej ("Five Boys of Barski Street," Cannes Festival Prize, 
1954); and Krzyzacy ("Crusader," i960). Prevented from mak- 
ing a film on Janusz *Korczak, Ford left Poland in 1968 and 
settled in Israel in 1970. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


FORD, HARRISON, (1942- ), U.S. actor. Born in Chicago, 
Illinois, the son of a Russian Jewish mother and an Irish fa- 
ther, Fords first career was as a professional carpenter. Dab- 
bling as a film actor, he was noticed in a small role in George 
Lucas* American Graffiti (1973). Four years later, Lucas picked 
Ford for the lead role of Han Solo in his mega-blockbuster 
Star Wars, and Ford became an "instant" star. Steven Spiel- 
berg subsequently chose Ford for the leading role in his Indi- 
ana Jones cinematic trilogy. 

Ford's other films include The Conversation (1974), Heroes 
(1977), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Hanover Street (1979), 
Apocalypse Now (1979), The Frisco Kid (1979), Star Wars: The 
Empire Strikes Back (1980), Blade Runner (1982), Star Wars: 
Return of the Jedi (1983), Witness (1985), The Mosquito Coast 
(1986), Working Girl (1988), Frantic (1988), Presumed Innocent 
(1990), Regarding Henry (1991), Patriot Games (1992), The Fugi- 
tive (1993), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Sabrina (1995), The 
Devil's Own (1997), Air Force One (1997), Six Days Seven Nights 
(1998), Random Hearts (1999), What Lies Beneath (2000), K-19: 
The Widowmaker (2002), and Hollywood Homicide (2003). 

In 1986 he was nominated for an Academy Award for 
Best Actor in the dramatic film Witness. In 1996 the U.S. Acad- 
emy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films awarded 
him a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998, 1999, and 2000 
he won the Peoples Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor. 
And in 2002, Ford was presented with the Golden Globes 
Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors a performers out- 
standing contribution to the entertainment field. In 1997 he 
was chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 Most Beauti- 
ful People in the World, and in 1998 the magazine dubbed him 
"The Sexiest Man Alive." Ford is credited with having the high- 
est worldwide box-office grosses of any actor in history. 

add. bibliography: G. Jenkins, Harrison Ford: Imperfect 
Hero (1998); B. Duke, Harrison Ford (2004). 

[Jonathan Licht / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

°FOREIRO (Forerius, Forerio), FRANCISCO (1510-1581), 
Portuguese Dominican and Hebrew scholar. Foreiro evinced 
a marked linguistic ability at an early age and was sent to Paris 
to study Greek and Hebrew. He represented King Sebastian of 
Portugal at the Council of Trent, where he was jointly respon- 
sible for preparing the Index librorum prohibitorum (Rome, 
1564). His Latin translation of Isaiah from the Hebrew, Isaiae 
prophetae vetus et nova ex hebraico versio, cum commentario, 
was published in Venice in 1563, and he prepared a Hebrew 
lexicon as well as commentaries to the Prophets, Job, Psalms, 
and the biblical books ascribed to Solomon; all these remained 

bibliography: J. Quetif and J. Echard, Scriptores Ordinis 

Praedicatorum, 2 (Paris, 1721), 261L; Nouvelle Biographie Universelle, 

18 (1858), 170. 

[Raphael Loewe] 

FOREMAN, CARL (1914-1984), U.S. writer, producer, and 
director. Born in Chicago, Foreman saw army service during 

World War 11, after which he began movie scriptwriting and 
prepared the scenarios for films such as So This Is New York 
(1948), Champion (1949), Home of the Brave (1949), The Clay 
Pigeon (1949), Young Man with a Horn (1950), The Men (1950), 
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), High Noon (1952), The Sleeping 
Tiger (1954), A Hatful of Rain (1957), and Bridge on the River 
Kwai (1957). Called before a congressional committee during 
the McCarthy era, he declined to testify on whether he was a 
member of the Communist Party on the grounds of the Fifth 
Amendment; in 1956 he himself chose to testify before Con- 
gress, and was given what he described as "a clean bill of po- 
litical health." 

From the early 1950s he lived and worked in London, 
and headed his own production company there. He wrote 
and produced Guns of Navarone (1961); wrote, produced, and 
directed Victors (1963); produced Born Free (1965), MacKen- 
nas Gold (1969), The Virgin Soldiers (1969), Living Free (1972); 
wrote and produced Young Winston (1972). He served as presi- 
dent of the Writers Guild in England (1968), board member 
of the British Film Institute, and honorary president of the 
Screen Writers Guild of Israel (where he conducted a course 
in screenwriting). 

Foreman returned to the U.S. in 1975, where he wrote 
such films as Force 10 from Navarone (1978); eb (1980); and 
When Time Rain Out (1980). In 1958 he was a winner of the 
Academy Award for Best Screenplay Based on Material from 
Another Medium for Bridge on the River Kwai. However, as 
he had been blacklisted at the time and received no screen 
credit, the Oscar was awarded to him posthumously in 1984. 
In his lifetime, Foreman earned five other screenwriting Oscar 
nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. As a producer, 
he was nominated six times for a Laurel Award. 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FOREMAN, MILTON J. (1862-1935), U.S. public official and 
army officer. Foreman was born in Chicago and was admit- 
ted to the bar in 1899. For the next 12 years he served on the 
Chicago City Council and held a number of other municipal 
positions. His interests, however, centered increasingly on his 
career in the Illinois National Guard, in which he first enlisted 
in 1895. Foreman served as a captain in the Spanish -Ameri- 
can War, saw action along the Mexican border in 1916, and 
was a colonel with the field artillery in Europe during World 
War 1. After the war he continued to rise in rank, retiring as 
lieutenant general in 1931. A prominent figure in the found- 
ing of the American Legion in 1919, Foreman was chairman 
of its first executive committee and later served as its national 

FORGERIES. Since the essential characteristic of a forgery is 
its intent to deceive, the pseudo-epigraphical literature, which 
consists of religious admonitions and prophecies ascribed to 
the biblical patriarchs in order to give them greater spiritual 
force (and similar writings found among the *Dead Sea Scrolls 
of the same period), are not in this category. There has been 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



much controversy over the midrashic christological excerpts 
included by Raymond ^Martini (13 th century) in his Pugio 
Fidei: S. *Lieberman maintains that they derive from originals 
now lost; Y. *Baer, that they are fabrications. In the course of 
the scholarly discussions that followed the archaeological dis- 
coveries of the 19 th and 20 th centuries, many of them, e.g., the 
*Moabite Stone and the Dead Sea Scrolls, were denounced by 
some skeptics as forgeries. In 1883 M.W. Shapira attempted 
to sell to the British Museum for a fabulous sum certain He- 
brew manuscript fragments of the Bible, purportedly from an 
ancient scroll of the book of Deuteronomy of the 9 th or 10 th 
century b.c.e. He was denounced at the time as a forger, but 
since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some scholars 
have maintained that they may not have been forgeries. How- 
ever, much material that passed through Shapiras hands as a 
dealer was certainly fabricated or altered. The Karaite scholar 
Abraham *Firkovich (1785-1874), in his attempts to prove the 
antiquity of the Karaites and, in particular, their settlement in 
the Crimea, published a number of obviously forged tomb- 
stone inscriptions and manuscript colophons. In addition, in 
view of his sectarian enthusiasm, a certain suspicion may be 
entertained about the details in any of the codices that passed 
through his hands (as also in the case of Shapira). At the first 
rumblings of the Reform movement in Judaism, Saul ^Berlin 
(1740-1794), the brilliant son of Hirschel *Levin and rabbi of 
Berlin, produced a collection, Besamim Rosh (1793), purport- 
ing to be responsa by the medieval scholar R. Asher of Toledo, 
which ostensibly favored the new tendencies; when this was 
discovered, Berlin was driven into retirement (see R. Margo- 
liot, in: Aresheth y 1 (1959), 424-5, no. 1737). In 1907-1909 S.J. 
*Friedlander published a substantial part of the fifth order of 
the Jerusalem Talmud from a Spanish manuscript dated 1212, 
which he claimed to have discovered in Turkey. It was, how- 
ever, no more than a mosaic of passages from other parts of 
the Talmud, and after some initial excitement the work was 
dismissed as a fabrication. 

Eliakim *Carmoly (1802-1875), rabbi of Brussels, pub- 
lished in profusion documents which he claimed to have in 
his rich library, but since some of them were obvious fabrica- 
tions and some "improved," he undermined all confidence in 
what might have been genuine. B.H. *Auerbach , s (1808-1872) 
edition of the Sefer ha-Eshkol (1868-69) by Abraham of Nar- 
bonne was also subjected to attack as a forgery. L. *Gold- 
schmidt (1871-1950) admitted that in his youth he forged the 
book Baraita de-Maaseh Bereshit (cf. E.S. Rimalt, in: Aresheth, 
1 (1959), 484-5). On the other hand, Goldschmidt leveled 
accusations of forgery against collectors of Hebrew printed 
books who made them appear as if they were incunabula (cf. 
L. Goldschmidt, Hebrew Incunables (1948)). H. Lieberman (b. 
1892), the bibliographer, also deals with forged title pages (ks, 
31 (1955/56) 397-8). G. *Scholem and his students discovered 
a number of forgeries in kabbalistic literature. In recent years 
with the increase in collectors of Jewish ritual art, very large 
numbers of forgeries in this sphere have been placed on the 
market, many of them very ingenious. Among the favorite 

methods are the appending of purportedly old inscriptions 
to modern objects, or the skillful adaptation of secular bric- 
a-brac to ostensibly Jewish purposes. Forged shekels (some 
of them bearing modern Hebrew lettering!) have been in cir- 
culation since the Renaissance period, having a special senti- 
mental appeal to both Jews and Christians. 

bibliography: C. Roth, in: Commentary, 43 (1967), 84-86. 

[Cecil Roth] 

FORGERY. Forgery of documents is not, either in biblical or 
in talmudic law, a criminal offense: it may be an instrument 
for the perpetration of *fraud and come within the general 
prohibition of fraudulent acts (Lev. 19:35; Deut. 25:13-16) or 
fraudulent words (Lev. 25:14). Nevertheless, it is a recognized 
evil which the law is called upon to prevent, and there are 
detailed provisions in the Talmud for the making of legally 
binding documents in such a manner that they cannot be 
forged: thus, documents must be written on and with ma- 
terial that cannot be effaced (Git. 19a et al.) and is enduring 
(Git. 22b, 23a); precautions must be taken that no space be left 
between the text of the document and the signatures, so that 
nothing could be inserted after signing (bb 162-7). ^ e ru l e 
evolved that a document (*Shetar) was valid only if executed 
in the manner of unforgeable bills (Ke-Tikkun Shitrei Yisrael 
she-Einan Yekholin le-Hizdayyef) to which nothing could be 
added and from which nothing could be erased (Maim. Yad, 
Malveh ve-Loveh 27:1). 

Where a document appeared on the face of it to have 
been tampered with or added to, so that a suspicion of forg- 
ery arose in the eyes of the court, recourse was had to com- 
pulsory measures in order to induce the plaintiff to confess 
that he was suing on a false document (bb 167a). It is not clear 
what these compulsory measures were: literally translated, the 
reports say that the plaintiff was "bound, and then admitted 
the document to be false" (the word used for "binding" is the 
same as that used for the binding of a person to be flogged 
(cf. Mak. 3:12), as distinguished from and preliminary to the 
*flogging itself (Mak. 3:13); or for the functions of non-judicial 
officers attached to the courts, who "bind and flog people on 
orders of the court"; Rashi to Deut. 1:15). The binding (koftin) 
was later interpreted to mean compelling (kofin; Meir ha-Levi 
Abulafia, quoted in Beit Yosef, hm 42 n. 3-5), and the compul- 
sion was authorized to be carried out by floggings (Tur and 
Sh. Ar., hm 42:3). It is, however, to be noted that these flog- 
gings - or any other compulsory measures - were not sanc- 
tions or punishments imposed for forging the documents, but 
only means to extort confessions of forgery: when a forgery 
was admitted or proved, the only sanction was that the claim 
based upon any such forged document was dismissed. It was 
only in much later times that forgers were punished by the 
courts, or more often - presumably because of the private 
law character of forgery in Jewish law - delivered for trial 
and punishment to the gentile courts (Assaf in bibliography, 
nos. 16, 112, 144). Even the notion that forgers of documents 
could be disqualified on that account from testifying or tak- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


ing an oath was dismissed as unwarranted (Hat am Sofer, hm 
39; Pithei Teshuvah, hm 34:7, n. 17). 

In order to have a claim based on a document dismissed, 
it was not always necessary to prove that it was false - in cer- 
tain circumstances it sufficed that it was reputed to be false 
(Ket. 36b; Maim. Yad, Edut 22:5). On the other hand, even the 
admitted forgery of a document would not necessarily viti- 
ate a claim, as where a true document had been in existence 
and lost (bb 32b; Yad, Toen ve-Nitan 15:9). A man ought not 
to lend out his seal, so as not to tempt others to use it without 
his authority (bm 27b; Yev. 120b); his seal appearing (e.g., on 
a barrel of wine), it is presumed not to have been tampered 
with (Av. Zar. 69b). In the State of Israel, the Criminal Law 
Amendment (Offenses of Fraud, Extraction and Exploita- 
tion) Law 5723 - 1963 replaced the Criminal Code Ordinance 
1936 mitigating the previous penalties for forgery (other than 

forgery of bank notes). 

[Haim Hermann Cohn] 

The offence of forgery was included in the Penal Code, 5737- 
1977. Sections 421-418 impose punishments of imprisonment 
for the forgery of documents or intentional use of a forged 
document. The law allows the imposition of severe punish- 
ments on a public servant who forges a document related to 
the area of his public responsibility for the purposes of ob- 
taining a benefit; the offence of forgery includes the forgery 
of coins, deeds and stamps, and the forgery of documents for 
the purposes of stealing a car. 

[Menachem Elon (2 nd ed.)] 

bibliography: M. Bloch, Das mosaisch-talmudische Po- 
lizeirecht (1879), 39, no. 20; Gulak, Yesodei, 2 (1922), 134-6; 4 (1922), 
165-7; S. Assaf, Ha-Onshin Aharei Hatimat ha-Talmud (1922), pas- 
sim; A. Gulak, Urkundenwesen im Talmud (1935), passim, add bib- 
liography: Elon, Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1988), 1, 642; Idem, Jewish 

Law (1994), 11, 795- 

FORGIVENESS, the act of absolving or pardoning; the state 

of being pardoned. 

In the Bible 

The biblical concept of forgiveness presumes, in its oldest 
strata, that sin is a malefic force that adheres to the sinner and 
that forgiveness is the divine means for removing it. This is 
demonstrated by the vocabulary of forgiveness which, in the 
main, stems from the cultic terminology of cleansing, e.g., 
tiher ("purify"; Jer. 33:8); mahah ("wipe"; lsa. 43:25); kibbes, 
rahaz ("wash"; lsa. 1:16; Ps. 51:4, 9); kipper ("purge"; Ezek. 
16:63; Ps. 78:38). Even the most common verb for forgiveness, 
salahy probably derives from the Mesopotamian cult where it 
connotes sprinkling in purification rites. More significantly, 
the most prominent epithet of God in His role of forgiver is 
nose* c avon/ hep ' peshd (lit. he who "lifts off sin"; e.g., Ex. 34:7; 
Num. 14:18; Hos. 14:3; Micah 7:18; Ps. 32:5). 

In the religion of ancient Israel, in contrast to that of its 
neighbors, rituals are not inherently efficacious. This point is 
underscored by the sacrificial formula of forgiveness. Whereas 
the required ritual is carried out by the priest, its desired end, 

forgiveness, is granted solely by God, e.g., "the priest shall 
make atonement for him for his sin and he shall be forgiven," 
i.e., by God (Lev. 4:26, and passim). Another limitation placed 
upon sacrificial means of obtaining forgiveness is that it can 
only apply to inadvertent errors (Num. 15:22-29). Blatant con- 
tempt of God cannot be expiated by sacrifice (Num. 15:30-31; 
1 Sam. 3:14) or any other means (Ex. 23:21; Josh. 24:19). More- 
over, contrition and compassion are indispensable coefficients 
of all rituals of forgiveness, whether they be expiatory sacri- 
fices (Lev. 5:5-6; 16:21; Num. 5:6-7) or litanies for fasting (Joel 
2:12-14; 1 Sam. 7:5-6). 

Indeed, mans involvement both in conscience and deed 
is a sine qua non for securing divine forgiveness. It is not 
enough to hope and pray for pardon: man must humble 
himself, acknowledge his wrong, and resolve to depart from 
sin (e.g., David, 11 Sam. 12:13 ff.; Ahab, 1 Kings 21:27-29). The 
psalms provide ample evidence that penitence and confession 
are integral components of all prayers for forgiveness (Ps. 32:5; 
38:19; 41:5; Lam. 3:40 ff.). The many synonyms for contrition 
testify to its primacy in the human effort to restore the de- 
sired relationship with God, e.g., seek the Lord (11 Sam. 12:16; 
21:1), search for Him (Amos 5:4), humble oneself before Him 
(Lev. 26:41), direct the heart to Him (1 Sam. 7:3), and lay to 
heart (11 Kings 22:19). Th e rituals of penitence, such as weep- 
ing, fasting, rending clothes, and donning sackcloth and ashes 
(11 Sam. 12:16; Joel 1:13; Ezra 9:3 ff.; 10:1, 6), are unqualifiedly 
condemned by the prophets if they do not correspond with, 
and give expression to the involvement of the heart (lsa, 1:10 ff.; 
29:13; Hos. 7:14; Joel 2:13). 

At the same time, inner contrition must be followed by 
outward acts; remorse must be translated into deeds. Two 
substages are involved in this process: first, the negative one 
of ceasing to do evil (lsa. 33:15; Ps. 15; 24:4) and then, the posi- 
tive step of doing good (lsa. 1:17; 58:5 ff.; Jer. 7:3; 26:13; Amos 
5:14-15; Ps. 34:15-16; 37:27). Again, the richness of the biblical 
language used to describe mans active role in the process tes- 
tifies to its centrality, e.g., incline the heart to the Lord (Josh. 
24:23), make oneself a new heart (Ezek. 18:31), circumcise the 
heart (Jer. 4:4), wash the heart (Jer. 4:14), and break ones fal- 
low ground (Hos. 10:) However, all these expressions are sub- 
sumed and summarized by one verb which dominates the 
penitential literature of the Bible, 2112? (shuv, shwv; "to turn; to 
return") which develops ultimately into the rabbinic doctrine 
of teshuvah ("repentance"). This doctrine implies that man has 
been endowed by God with the power of "turning." He can 
turn from evil to the good, and the very act of turning will 
activate Gods concern and lead to forgiveness. 

What is the source of the biblical optimism that mans 
turning will generate divine movement to pardon him? This 
confidence resides in a number of assumptions concerning 
the nature of God, as presumed by the unique relationship 
between God and Israel, the bond of the ^covenant. Covenant 
implies mutuality of obligation, that Israels fidelity to Gods 
demands will be matched by Gods response to Israels needs, 
particularly in his attitude of forgiveness (e.g., 11 Sam. 24:14, 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



17; cf. Ps. 25:10-11; 80; 103:17-18; 106:45). That is why in the 
wilderness traditions, Moses can continue to plead with God 
despite the lapses of his people, because of his certainty that 
Gods forgiveness is a constant of his nature (Num. 14:18-20; 
Ex. 32:nff.; 34:6 ff,). Again, the profusion of idioms express- 
ing divine forgiveness (in addition to the cultic expressions, 
mentioned above), e.g., overlook sin (Micah 7:18), not reckon 
it (Ps. 32:2), not remember it (Ps. 25:7), hide his face from it 
(Ps. 51:11), suppress it, remove it (Ps. 103:12), throw it behind 
his back (Isa. 38:17) or into the sea (Micah 7:19), points to the 
centrality of this concept. 

Another covenant image which invokes God's attitude of 
forgiveness is his role of Father and Shepherd. A father's love 
for his children (Ex. 4:22; Num. 11:12; Deut. 32:6, 19; lsa. 64:7) 
can lead them to hope that their sins will be forgiven (Jer. 3:19; 
31:19; Hos. liriff.). Furthermore, this parental relationship 
shows that Israel's suffering is not inflicted as retribution for 
their sins but as corrective discipline - "afflictions of love" so 
that Israel may correct its way (Deut. 8:5; Prov. 3:12). 

Another component of the covenant is that God will ac- 
cept the mediation of an intercessor. He is not bound to com- 
ply - in contradistinction to the coercive claims of the pagan 
magician - for God will reject even the mediation of the most 
righteous when Israel's sins have exceeded the limit of His for- 
bearance (Jer. 15:1; Ezek. 14:13-20). Intercession is, first and 
foremost, the function of Israel's prophets. Indeed, the only 
time Abraham is called a prophet is at the precise moment 
when his intercessory powers are invoked (Gen. 20:7). Moses' 
main concern, to judge by the narratives of the Exodus and 
the wandering in the wilderness, is to intervene on behalf of 
others (e.g., Ex. 9:27ff.; 10:16 ff.; 34:8-9; Num. i2:nff.; 2i:yS.; 
Deut. 9:16-10:10; Jer. 15:1). The psalmist singles this out in his 
eulogy of Moses: "He (God) said He would have destroyed 
them, had not Moses, the chosen one, stood in the breach be- 
fore Him" (Ps. 106:23). To "stand in the breach" is for Ezekiel 
the main function of the prophet (Ezek. 13:5; 22:30). 

An equally significant concomitant of God's covenant is 
His promise to the forefathers that the people of Israel) will 
exist forever and that they will be in eternal possession of Erez 
Israel. This aspect of the covenant is constantly invoked in 
pleas for forgiveness (Ex. 2:24; 3:6; 15-16; 4:5; 6:3-5; L ev - 26:42; 
Deut. 4:31, 37; 7:8, 12; 8:18; 9:5, 27; 13:18; 29:12; Josh. 18:3; 21:44; 
1 Kings 18:36 ff.; 11 Kings 13:23; Isa. 41:8; 51:2; Micah 7:20; Ps. 
105:9; Neh. 9:7; 11 Chron. 30:6). 

This promise to the forefathers bears a final corollary. 
Because of the covenant, God's honor is at stake in the world. 
Israel's woes will not be comprehended by the nations as di- 
vine punishment for its covenant violations but as God's in- 
ability to fulfill His covenant obligations. This argument fea- 
tures prominently in Moses' intercession (Ex. 32:12; Num. 
14:13-16) and is mentioned repeatedly in subsequent prayers 
for Israel's pardon (Josh. 7:9; Ps. 74:10, 18; 83:3, 19; 92:9-10; 
109:27; 143:11-12). Conversely, the argument continues, it is 
important for God to redeem Israel for the glorification and 
sanctification of His name throughout the world (Ps. 79:6; 

102:16; 115:1; 138:3-5) even if Israel itself is undeserving of for- 
giveness (Isa. 48:9-11; Ezek. 36:22 ff.). 

See also ^Repentance. 

[Jacob Milgrom] 

In Talmud and Jewish Thought 

divine forgiveness. The theme of God's forgiveness for 
man's sins is recurrent in talmudic and midrashic literature 
and reappears in later rabbinic writings and the synagogue 
liturgy. Its main theological purport is to counterbalance, 
and indeed outweigh, the strongly entrenched rabbinic belief 
in the inevitable punishment of sin. The rabbinic outlook on 
the subject may be most simply expressed as "God is just"; 
He rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked (Principle 
number 11 of Maimonides' 13 principles of the Jewish faith). 
Only the unrepentant sinner incurs His wrath; the sinner who 
repents is always forgiven. Thus the Talmud states, "He who 
sins and regrets his act is at once forgiven" (Hag. 5a; Ber. 12b) 
and the Midrash states, "Says the Holy One, even if they [your 
sins] should reach to Heaven, if you repent I will forgive" (Pes. 
Rab. 44:185a; see Yal. Ps. 835). The Tosefta even gives a statis- 
tical figure to the matter, basing itself on Exodus 34:6-7, and 
says that God's quality of forgiveness is five hundred fold that 
of His wrath (Tosef., Sot 4:1). 

The idea is more picturesquely expressed in the talmu- 
dic image of God praying to Himself that His mercy should 
prevail over His anger and that He should deal with His chil- 
dren "li-fenim mi-shurat ha-din" i.e., that He should forgive 
them even though strict justice would demand their punish- 
ment (Ber. 7a). The whole of Jewish thought on the subject 
stems from the forgiving character of God depicted in the 13 
Divine attributes as revealed to Moses (Ex. 34:6-7). The rab- 
binic mind embroiders the fundamental biblical idea in a 
homiletic way, thus giving encouragement and hope to the 
sinner who would turn to God but is troubled by the burden 
of his past deeds. The liturgy of the *Day of Atonement, and 
indeed its very role, bear eminent testimony to the central 
role that the idea of God's forgiveness plays within Jewish re- 
ligious practice. 

Maimonides formulates the breadth of the Jewish atti- 
tude on Divine forgiveness thus: "Even if a man has sinned his 
whole life and repents on the day of his death, all his sins are 
forgiven him" (Yad, Teshuvah 2:1). Though this forgiveness is 
always ultimately forthcoming, for various categories of sin 
it only comes into effect when the Day of Atonement, or the 
sinner's death, or both have finalized the atonement (Yoma 
85b ff.; Yad, loc. cit., 1:4). 

In later rabbinic literature, ideas about God's forgiveness 
are variations on the original theme outlined above, though 
now and again, the emphasis is changed. In hasidic writings, 
for example, where the dominant notion of God is that of a 
merciful father, there is a tendency to overstress His quality of 
forgiveness at the expense of His quality of justice. Nahman 
of Bratslav, one of the early hasidic leaders, writes: "There is 
no sin that will not be forgiven by sincere repentance. Every 
saying to the contrary in the Talmud and the Zohar is not to 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


be understood literally" (Likkutei Ezot ha-Shalem (1913), 119). 
R. Nahman is adverting here to certain categories of sinners 
who, it is claimed, will never be forgiven because of the nature 
of their crimes, however genuine their repentance. Among 
those said to be excluded from God's grace are those whose 
sins involved a desecration of Gods name or caused an evil 
repute to fall on their fellow, or even those who indulged in 
evil language in general (tj, bk 8:10, 6c; arn 1 39, 116; Zohar, 
Num. i6la). But R. Nahman's interpretation is according to the 
tradition that no sinner was ever absolutely excluded from the 
sphere of God's forgiveness (see Yad, Teshuvah, 1:4; rh 18a; S. 
Schechter, Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology, ch. 18 and refer- 
ences cited). The intention of those texts that do seem to ex- 
clude certain classes of sinner can be interpreted as a way of 
emphasizing the gravity of the sins involved. 

There are two further general points. Rabbinic literature 
is on the whole concerned with God's forgiveness for the in- 
dividual sinner, rather than for Israel as a nation (the latter is 
more characteristic of the prophetic ethos than the rabbinic, 
for during most of the creative period of rabbinic thought, 
Israel had ceased to exist as a cohesive national entity). For- 
giveness is always and only consequent on repentance (the 
idea of an arbitrary grace is almost totally absent; but see 
Ber. 7a on Ex. 33:19). Similarly the doctrine of the merit of 
the fathers, zekhut avot, was given an ethical interpretation 
(Sanh. 27b.). 

The place of a forgiving God within the Jewish Weltan- 
schauung has been of interest in modern times and is dis- 
cussed by both Jewish and Christian scholars. The immediate 
causes of this interest were partly a desire to uncover the rab- 
binic roots of New Testament theology and partly an attempt 
to rectify the widespread but distorted image of the Jewish 
conception of God, according to which the Jewish God was 
seen as a legalistic and strict overlord who rewards and pun- 
ishes according to man's deeds, and the Jew was thus thought 
to inhabit a somber religious world devoid of Divine compas- 
sion. A more thorough acquaintance with the sources shows 
how wrong such a picture was. 

human forgiveness. God's forgiveness, however exten- 
sive, only encompasses those sins which man commits directly 
against Him, "bein adam la-Makom"; those in which an injury 
is caused to one's fellow man, u bein adam le-havero" are not 
forgiven until the injured party has himself forgiven the per- 
petrator. Hence the custom of seeking forgiveness from those 
one may have wronged on the eve of the Day of Atonement, 
without which proper atonement cannot be made (Yoma 8:9, 
basing itself on Lev. 16:30 "... all your sins before the Lord," 
i.e., and not to man; Yad, loc. cit, 2:9; Sh. Ar., oh, 605:1; see 
also rh 17b; Sifra, Aharei Mot, Perek 8). 

The law regarding physical injury, for example, is explicit 
in that even after the various compensatory payments have 
been made, the inflicter of the damage must seek the forgive- 
ness of the injured party for the suffering caused (bk 92a; Yad, 
Hovel u-Mazzik 5:9; Sh. Ar., hm, 422). Not only must he who 

sins against his fellow seek forgiveness from him, but the one 
sinned against is duty bound to forgive. "Man should be pli- 
ant as a reed, not hard like the cedar" in granting forgiveness 
(Ta'an. 20 a). As the Talmud puts it: "All who act mercifully 
(i.e., forgivingly) toward their fellow creatures will be treated 
mercifully by Heaven, and all who do not act mercifully to- 
ward their fellow creatures will not be treated mercifully by 
Heaven" (Shab. 151b; see also rh, 17a; Meg. 28a). If the injured 
party refuses to forgive even when the sinner has come before 
him three times in the presence of others and asked for for- 
giveness, then he is in turn deemed to have sinned (see Tanh. 
Hukkat 19). He is called akhzari ("cruel"). The unforgiving 
man is not of the seed of Abraham (Bez. 32b), since one of 
the distinguishing marks of all of Abraham's descendants is 
that they are forgiving. The quality of forgiveness was one of 
the gifts God bestowed on Abraham and his seed (Yer. 79a; 
Num. R. 8:4; Yad, Teshuvah 2:10). 

The rabbis go even further in the ethical demands made 
upon the injured party, for not only must he be ready to for- 
give his injure r, he should also pray that God forgive the sin- 
ner before he has come to beg forgiveness (Yad, loc. cit; Tosef, 
bk 9:29; Sefer Hasidim ed. by R. Margalioth 1957, 267 no. 360). 
This demand is based on the example of Abraham, who prayed 
to God to forgive Abimelech (Gen. 20:17). ^ e reasons the in- 
jured party should be ready to forgive the injurer are mixed. 
On the one hand is the self- regarding consideration, already 
mentioned, that forgiveness to one's fellow wins forgiveness 
from Heaven. As Philo states: "If you ask pardon for your sins, 
do you also forgive those who have trespassed against you? For 
remission is granted for remission" (ed. by Mangey, 2 (1742), 
670; see also Yoma 23a). On the other hand there is the purer 
motive of imitatio del Just as it is in the nature of God to be 
merciful to His creatures, so man in attempting to imitate 
the ways of God should be forgiving toward those who have 
injured him (Shab. 133b; see Lev. 19:2). R. Nahman combines 
both motives when he says: "Imitate God by being compas- 
sionate and forgiving. He will in turn have compassion on you, 
and pardon your offenses" (op. cit. 81-91). 

[Alan Unterman] 

bibliography: in the bible: C.R. Smith, The Biblical 
Doctrine of Sin (1953); E.F. SutclifFe, Providence and Suffering in the 
Old and New Testaments (1955); W.L. Holladay, The Root subh in the 
Old Testament (1958); W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, 2 
(1967), 380-495; J. Milgrom, in: jqr, 58 (1967), 115-25. in talmud 
and Jewish thought: J. Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism and 
the Gospels, 1 (1917), 139-67; G.F. Moore, Judaism, 1 (1927), 535-45; 2 
(1927), 153-5; S. Schechter, Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology (1909), 
2931!.; R.T. Herford, Talmud and Apocrypha (1933), 157-61; E.E. Ur- 
bach, Hazal. Pirkei Emunot ve-De l ot (1969), 396fT.; K. Kohler; Jewish 
Theology (1918), 112-7, 246-55; C.G. Montefiore and R. Loewe (eds.), 
A Rabbinic Anthology (1938), 460-469. 

FORLI, city in N. central Italy. The philosopher *Hillel b. Sam- 
uel of Verona wrote his Tagmulei ha-Nefesh there about 1280. 
By the 14 th century a number of Jewish loan bankers were es- 
tablished in the city and in 1373 Bonaventura Consiglio and a 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



partner lent 8,000 ducats to Amadeo, count of Savoy, on the 
security of his crown and other valuables. Representatives of 
the communities of central and northern Italy met in Forli 
in 1418 to discuss the raising of a fund for self-defense; they 
also passed a series of sumptuary regulations to limit shows 
of luxury and extravagance. Their action was probably deci- 
sive in obtaining the protection of Pope *Martin V, which he 
extended in the bull of Jan. 31, 1419. From the late 14 th and 
through the 15 th century several Jewish physicians lived in 
Forli and a number of Hebrew manuscripts were copied there. 
In 1488 anti-Jewish disorders broke out: the Jewish loan banks 
were sacked and the loan bankers were forced to leave the city. 
Subsequently, however, their activities were resumed. At the 
beginning of the 16 th century the papal government assumed 
the administration of the city, and in 1569 the community in 
Forli ceased to exist with the expulsion of the Jews from the 
towns of the Papal States, though some craftsmen also lived 
there during the 16 th and 17 th centuries. A Jewish presence in 
the area of Romagna, and also in Forli, is documented from 
the Napoleonic era. In 1938, 15 families in Forli and 98 people 
in the entire province were considered Jewish. During the 
Nazi occupation, from 1943 until the liberation of November 
13, 1944, a concentration camp operated in Forli, where the 
majority of prisoners were Jews from the area or from Rome. 
In September 1944 the Nazis massacred 33 people at the air- 
port of Forli, including 19 Jews. 

bibliography: Garzanti, in: Romagna, 5 (1908), 266-79; 
Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; 
Finkelstein, Middle Ages, 28ifT. add. bibliography: G. Cara- 
vita, Ebrei in Romagna: 1938-1945: dalle leggi razziali alio sterminio 
(1991); L. Picciotto, II libro della memoria: gli ebrei deportati dall'Italia, 
1943-1945 (2001). 

[Attilio Milano / Federica Francesconi (2 nd ed.)] 

FORMAN, MILOS (1932- ), Czech-American film director. 
Formans early years were spent in a town near Prague, where 
his father was a teacher. Both his parents, including his non- 
Jewish mother, were murdered in Auschwitz. In 1963 he made 
Black Peter, in 1964, Loves of a Blonde, a film distributed and 
internationally acclaimed. The Fireman's Ball (1968), a wry 
treatment of Czech bureaucracy, effected its own irony when 
it caused 40,000 fireman to quit after Novotny released the 
film. All were appeased when Forman offered his own criti- 
cal interpretation (a parody in itself) of the film as broad alle- 
gory. Forman moved to Hollywood in 1970 and subsequently 
directed such films as Taking Off (1971), One Flew over the 
Cuckoos Nest (1975), which was only the second film in cinema 
history to win all five major Academy Awards, Hair (1979), 
Ragtime (1981), Amadeus (1984), which again won Forman 
Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, and Valmont (1989). 
Later films include The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and Man 

on the Moon (1999). 

[Jonathan Licht] 

FORMAN, PHILLIP (1895-1978), U.S. judge. Born in New 
York City, Forman was admitted to the bar in 1917. He at- 

tended the Temple University School of Law, where he re- 
ceived his LL.B. in 1919. During World War 1 he served in the 
United States Navy (1917-19). He had a private law practice 
in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1923 he was appointed assistant 
U.S. attorney for the southern district of New Jersey, and in 
1928 district attorney. Forman became a district court judge 
in 1932, and in 1951 chief judge. Subsequently, in 1959, he was 
elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He 
assumed senior status in 1961 and served in that capacity until 
his death. 

Active in Jewish affairs, Forman was a founder of the 
Jewish Federation of Trenton, New Jersey, and a prominent 
figure in the ^American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 
the ^Jewish Welfare Board, and the ^American Jewish Com- 
mittee. He was also a member of the American Judicature 
Society and the American Legion. In 1940 Forman had the 
distinction of presenting Albert Einstein with his certificate 
of American citizenship. 

[Morris M. Schnitzer / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FORM AND MATTER (Heb. HTIS, zurah, and "Itt'n, homer), 
according to Aristotle, the two constituents of every physical 
substance, form being that which makes the substance what 
it is, and matter being the substratum underlying the form. 
In substantial change the form is that which is changed, while 
the matter remains constant throughout the change. Matter 
is defined by Aristotle as "that which in itself is not a this," 
form, as "that which is precisely in virtue of which a thing is 
called a this" (DeAnima 2:1). Insofar as form makes the object 
what it is, it is equated with actuality, while matter is equated 
with potentiality. Insofar as form determines the nature of a 
substance it is likened to the species, while matter is likened 
to the genus. 

*Plotinus, the first of the neoplatonists, accepting the Ar- 
istotelian notion of form as species and matter as genus, main- 
tained that immaterial substances, since they can be defined 
in terms of genus and species, are also composed of matter 
and form. There exists, he maintained, a spiritual matter out 
of which incorporeal substances are formed. Only God is not 
composed of matter and form. 

Among Jewish philosophers those who tended toward 
Aristotelianism generally followed the Aristotelian notion 
of form and matter, while those who tended towards neopla- 
tonism, followed the Plotinian notion. 

Solomon ibn *Gabirol devoted his major work, Mekor 
Hayyim (Pons Vitae), to a discussion of form and matter. He 
accepted the view that form and matter are constituent ele- 
ments of corporeal and incorporeal beings alike. However, 
while Plotinus believed that there exist two types of matter, 
spiritual and corporeal, Gabirol held that matter is in itself 
incorporeal, and is common to corporeal and incorporeal 
substances. Gabirol, regarding form and matter as more than 
just the component parts of individual substances, saw them 
as cosmic forces - the two primary elements, which consti- 
tute intelligence, the highest of the emanated substances. Ibn 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Gabirol is not clear concerning the origin of matter and form. 
At times he holds that matter emanates from God, and form, 
from an intermediary being, known as the divine will, while 
at other times he holds that both form and matter emanate 
from the divine will. 

Joseph ibn *Zaddik, while he generally follows Aristotle 
in his natural philosophy, differs from Aristotle in his defini- 
tion of matter and form. Matter, since it bears the form, is, 
for Ibn Zaddik, the one real substance, while form, insofar as 
it inheres in something else, has the same status as accidents 
(Olam Katan 1:2). For Aristotle, matter is that "which in itself 
is not a this." 

Abraham *ibn Daud, the first of the Jewish Aristote- 
lians, in his discussion of the concepts of form and matter, 
presents the example of a golden scepter, which is changed 
into a golden coin, then into a ring, and finally into a nose 
ring. He points out that gold is the matter underlying all 
these objects, while the scepter, the coin, the ring, and the 
nose ring are different forms that are imposed on the same 
matter. He deduces the existence of first matter and form from 
the reciprocal transmutation of the four basic elements. 
Having shown how the various elements are changed into 
one another he writes: "We thus know by observation that 
these elements are changed into one another... But it is in- 
conceivable that the form, after passing away, should become 
the recipient... Hence we infer that they have a common 
underlying matter, which matter we call first matter" (Emu- 
nah Ramah 1:2). First matter is not in itself the matter out of 
which the four elements are formed, but rather first mat- 
ter conjoined with the corporeal form. Maimonides, fol- 
lowing Aristotle, maintains that "every physical body is 
necessarily composed of two things,... form and matter..." 
(Guide 2, intr., prop. 22). He maintains, further, that all 
privation and destruction of physical objects results from 
matter and not from form: "All bodies subject to generation 
and corruption are attained by corruption only because of 
their matter" (3:8; see also, 1:17). In the case of man, body is 
the matter and soul, form. It is the body, therefore, which is 
subject to destruction, and only the soul, which can attain 

bibliography: Husik, Philosophy, index, s.v. matter; Gutt- 
mann, Philosophies, index; H.A. Wolfson, Crescas* Critique of Aristo- 
tle (1929), index; idem, in: jqr, 38 (1947/48), 47-61; idem, in: Proceed- 
ings of the Sixth International Congress of Philosophy (1926), 602-7; 
A. Altmann and S. Stern, Isaac Israeli (1958), 159-64. 

[Alfred L. Ivry] 

Italian publisher, editor, and writer. He was born in Modena, 
where his family had been court jewelers for generations and 
maintained their private synagogue. He was a publisher first in 
Modena (1908-11) and then in Genoa (1911-15) and Bologna; 
in 1916 he moved to Rome, where he won prominence for his 
innovations in publishing and the quality of his books. 

Among his noteworthy publications the most impor- 

tant are Classici del ridere y a series of 106 volumes published 
from 1913 to 1938, including the best works of humorists 
from all countries (i.e., Giovanni Boccaccio, Francois Ra- 
belais, Voltaire, Honore de Balzac, Jonathan Swift, William 
Thackeray, Shalom Aleichem), and Profili, a series of 129 
numbers, published from 1909 to 1937, which included brief 
essays on contemporary authors. Besides editing Chi e, dizion- 
ario degli Italiani dbggi, the Italian Who's Who (first edition 
1929-30), a dictionary of contemporary Italians, Formiggini 
served as managing editor of Lltalia che scrive, a monthly 
review of Italian literary and artistic activities, bibliography, 
and intellectual debate. In 1923 he published in the Clas- 
sici del Ridere his La ficozza filosofica sul Fascismo e la Mar- 
cia sulla Leonardo, an ironic study of contemporary society 
and a defense of himself against the intellectual luminary 
Giovanni Gentile. 

Between 1919 and 1921 he founded the Italian Institute 
for Cultural Propaganda Abroad and in 1929 he planned and 
organized the World Congress of Libraries and Bibliogra- 
phy. When the antisemitic laws of 1938 were promulgated, he 
committed suicide by jumping off the tower of Ghirlandina 
in Modena as an act of extreme protest and rebellion. His 
spiritual testament Parole in libertd was published posthu- 
mously (1945). 

add. bibliography: L. Balsamo andR. Cremante,A.F. For- 
miggini un editore del Novecento (1981). 

[Irving Rosenthal / Federica Francesconi (2 nd ed.)] 

FORMSTECHER, SOLOMON (1808-1889), German phi 
losopher and rabbi. Formstecher was born in Offenbach. He 
studied philosophy, philology and theology at the University 
of Giesen, and served as the rabbi of the Offenbach commu- 
nity from 1842 until his death. He took an active part in the 
Reform movement and edited the periodicals Der Freitaga- 
bend and Die Israelitische Wochenschrift. 

In his systematic work. Die Religion des Geistes - Wissen- 
schaftliche Darstellung des Judentums nach seinem Charakter, 
Enw icklungsgaeng und Berufe in der Welt (Frankfurt, 1841) 
Formstecher attempted to present a theoretical basis for the 
aims of the emancipation and Reform. Judaism is presented 
primarily as an idea, anchored in historical revelation and the 
full value of which is revealed through the gradual, progres- 
sive development of humanity. Formstecher used the philo- 
sophical categories of the German idealists Schelling and, to 
a lesser extent, Hegel in developing this concept. 

The three central concepts of Formstecher s system are 
revelation, spirit, and nature. By revelation, which is the source 
of the ethical monotheism of Judaism, he means the divine 
communication concerning the true nature of good and evil. 
It is not the knowledge of God s existence that represents the 
true ideal, but the identification of God as a pure moral being. 
The God of Israel is not a supreme concept reached through 
philosophic understanding, but a supreme being transcend- 
ing both spiritual and earthly nature. Therefore, Judaism as an 
idea is not a philosophic religion, but the manifestation of the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



true absolute revelation. The classical representatives of this 
idea were the prophets of Israel. They understood the truth of 
the original revelation - based on God's covenants with Noah 
and his *chosen people, symbolized by the Sinai covenant - 
through knowledge of the objective source of the absolute val- 
ues, which was revealed to them by an immediate feeling. 

Like Hegel, Formstecher meant by "spirit" the concreti- 
zation of the absolute in the historic -conscious level of man- 
kind. If, as he believed, religion in general is mans aspiration 
for a universe of values, then the religion of the spirit is the 
aspiration for the embodiment of an absolute moral idea, the 
source of which is divine revelation. Judaism as a phenome- 
non, i.e., historical Judaism, although subject to historical cir- 
cumstances, clings to the aspiration of embodying the moral 
idea on earth. 

This aspiration distinguished Judaism from all other re- 
ligions, which are fundamentally religions of nature, or physi- 
cal monotheism. Following Schelling, Formstecher defined the 
religion of nature (paganism) as the aspiration for universal 
life, in which the spirit is manifested as the "soul of the world". 
The philosophic pantheistic concepts, as well as speculative 
metaphysical thought, are therefore, the refined form of the 
pagan view of life. In proposing his argument Formstecher 
foreshadowed some of the anti-metaphysical trends in mod- 
ern Jewish theology, represented by Rosenzweig and Buber, 
for example. 

Judaism and paganism are polar phenomena, which by 
their very nature cannot coexist. Therefore, Formstecher re- 
jected the concept of the mission of the Jews as the fundamen- 
tal and direct heritage of Judaism. Within the framework of 
the dominant paganism, the isolation of Judaism among the 
nations is a direct result of its metaphysical nature. Never- 
theless, Judaism does fulfill its mission among the nations, 
although not directly: it fulfills its mission through Christian- 
ity and Islam. These historical religions, in which pagan and 
spiritual elements are mingled, fulfill the requirement that 
paganism be overcome by the embodiment of the absolute 
moral value of the divine spirit. As the growth of the spirit 
and culture in modern times seemed to indicate, insofar as 
the human consciousness is aware of the moral source of all 
being, the universal human spirit will develop, and it will of 
itself bring about the removal of the barriers between the na- 
tions. Formstecher sincerely believed that the Emancipation 
was the social-political manifestation of this internal, spiritual 
process in the history of humanity. 

bibliography: N. Rotenstreich, Jewish Philosophy in Mod- 
ern Times (1968), 106-20 and index; Guttmann, Philosophies 308-13; 
add. bibliography: B. Ritter-Kratz, Salomon Formstecher - Ein 
deutcher Reformrabbiner (biography incl. full bibliography) (1991) 
(Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen des Salomon Ludwig Steinheim- 
Instituts fuer deutsch juedische Geschichte, E. Heid (ed.), vol. 1); T., 
"Solomon Formstechers Religion des Geistes - Versuch einer Neulek- 
ture," in: Aschkenas, 13:2 (2003), 441-460; N.M. Samuelson, An In- 
troduction to Modern Jewish Philosophy (1989), 150-53; M.A. Meyer, 
Response to Modernity (1988), 70-72, index. 

[Moshe Schwarcz / Yehoyada Amir (2 nd ed.)] 

°FORSTER (Foester, Vorster, Forsthemius), JOHANN 

(1495-1556), German theologian and Hebraist. Forster studied 
under Reuchlin at Ingolstadt and later with Luther in Witten- 
berg. In 1539 he became professor of Hebrew at Tubingen and, 
ten years later, at the University of Wittenberg. He published 
a pioneering Hebrew-Latin lexicon, Dictionarium hebraicum 
novum (Basle, 1557; 1564 2 ), which revealed the animosity of 
its author, a diligent Hebraist, toward the Jews. The lexicons 
subtitle stressed that it was "not based on the commentaries of 
the rabbis or on those of our own scholars, with a foolish imi- 
tation ... but derived from the treasures of the Bible." He was 
quite critical of Christian interpreters of the Kabbalah as well. 
Forster also published Meditationes hebraicae in artem gram- 
maticam (Cologne, 1558). He attempted to derive the word 
sibyl ("oracle," "prophetess") from "kabula" (i.e., Kabbalah). 

bibliography: Steinschneider, Handbuch, 48 no. 621; M. 
Adam, Vitae Germanorum Medicorum (1620), 302; F. Secret, Les kab- 
balistes chretiens de la Renaissance (1964), 275-76. add. bibliogra- 
phy: L. Geiger, Das Studium der hebraeischen Sprache in Deutschland 
(1870), 97-102, 136-137; J. Friedman, in: Bibliotheque d'Humanisme 
et Renaissance 42 (1980), 61. 

[Giulio Busi (2 nd ed.)] 

FORTAS, ABE (1910-1982), U.S. lawyer and Supreme Court 
justice. Fortas was born in Memphis, Tennessee, son of a cabi- 
netmaker. A brilliant student, he graduated from Southwest- 
ern College (1930) and Yale Law School (1933), where he was 
Law Journal editor. Upon graduation, he was appointed to 
the Yale law faculty. Fortas married Carolyn Agger, who also 
became a distinguished lawyer. In 1937 he entered full-time 
government service with the Securities Exchange Commission 
and was general counsel for the Public Works Administration. 
From 1942 to 1946 he served as undersecretary of the interior 
and also was an adviser in 1945 to the American delegation at 
the San Francisco Conference which founded the United Na- 
tions. During this period Fortas became friendly with Lyndon 
B. Johnson, the future president. 

In 1946 Fortas entered private legal practice. His firm, 
Arnold, Fortas & Porter, became one of the most prominent 
and wealthy in Washington, representing many important 
corporations. As counsel for Lyndon Johnson, Fortas suc- 
cessfully countered the challenge to the validity of Johnsons 
election to the U.S. Senate in 1948. In the 1950s Fortas and 
his firm became involved in civil liberties cases. He success- 
fully defended Owen Lattimore, a victim of the McCarthy era 
communist charges. Some of his criminal cases became legal 
landmarks. In the Durham case, he persuaded the Federal 
District Court to adopt a new standard for criminal insanity, 
determining that an accused is not criminally responsible if 
his unlawful act was a product of mental disease or defect. In 
yet another, Fortas successfully argued that states should be 
required to provide free legal counsel for indigent defendants 
charged with major crimes. When President Johnson assumed 
office in 1963, Fortas became a key presidential aide and ad- 
viser. He worked out a complicated trust agreement for the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


Johnson family, handled two sensitive administration scan- 
dals, aided the president in the Dominican crisis, and advised 
him on issues ranging from racial problems to the Vietnam 
War. In July 1965 Johnson appointed Fortas to the Supreme 
Court. As an associate justice, Fortas was known for his pen- 
etrating mind, skillful legal writing, and concern for individ- 
ual rights. He generally joined the Courts libertarian, activ- 
ist majority. One of the most significant of his opinions was 
in the Gait case, which extended the constitutional rights to 
due process of law to juveniles being tried in special juvenile 
courts. Fortas firmly believed in the protection of personal 
privacy, and opposed the widespread use of civil disobedience 
to attain political ends. His pamphlet Concerning Dissent and 
Civil Disobedience (1968) presented a rational yet passionate 
plea for the rejection of political violence and for respect for 
law and the democratic process. 

In the summer of 1968 Johnson nominated Fortas to suc- 
ceed retiring Chief Justice Warren. Opponents of the nomina- 
tion succeeded in blocking Fortas' confirmation; they charged 
that he was too liberal and too close an adviser to President 
Johnson, and that the new appointment should be deferred 
until after the approaching presidential election. Moreover, 
while on the Court Fortas had accepted a fee for serving as 
lifetime consultant to the charitable Wolfson Family Foun- 
dation. When its founder, Louis E. Wolfson, was indicted for 
stock manipulation, Fortas returned the fee and severed his 
connection with the Foundation; but the disclosure of the as- 
sociation now aroused bitter public controversy. Fortas main- 
tained that he had done no wrong; nevertheless, in May 1969 
he resigned from the Court under heavy pressure and returned 
to private practice. 

bibliography: Rodell, in: New York Times Magazine (July 
28, 1968), 12-13, 63-68; Graham, ibid. (June 4, 1967), 26, 86-96; 
United States 90 th Congress, 2 nd Session, Senate; Executive Report 
No. 8 (1968); 89 th Congress, i st Session, Senate Committee on the Ju- 
diciary, Hearings (Aug. 5, 1965). 

[Barton G. Lee] 

FORTES, MEYER (1906-1983), British social anthropolo- 
gist. Born in South Africa, he settled in England. From 1934 
to 1938 he was a research fellow of the International African 
Institute, London; he lectured at the London School of Eco- 
nomics, and at Oxford University (1939-41); was head of the 
department of sociology, West African Institute, Accra, Gold 
Coast (Ghana), from 1944 to 1946; and from 1950 until 1973 
was professor of social anthropology at Cambridge University. 
Fortes conducted field research in Central and West Africa 
and initiated modern ethnographical research in Ghana. He 
studied ancestor worship, the development of a generalized 
theory of primitive social structure, and the demographic al 
method in preliterate societies. With Evans- Pritchard he de- 
veloped the modern theory of primitive political systems, and 
conducted research on the theory of kinship and social orga- 
nizations in primitive societies. On the basis of his expertise 
in this realm, he analyzed structuralist theory and methodol- 

ogy. Among his books were Dynamics of Clanship among the 
Tallensi (1945) and Oedipus and Job in West African Religion 
(1959); he edited African Political Systems (1940, 1950 2 ). Later 
he wrote Kinship and the Social Order (1969) and Time and 
Social Structure (1970). 

add. bibliography: odnb online: D.E. Hunter and P. 
Whitten (eds.)> Encyclopedia of Anthropology (1976). 

[Ephraim FischofT] 

called Hazketto (a Hebraized form of his name: hazak {forte, 
"WID, "strong") and -etto y a diminutive ending), Italian rabbi. 
Forti was ordained rabbi in 1564 in Mantua, and later served 
as head of a yeshivah in Ferrara. In 1554 he took part in the 
conference of Italian Jewish communities in Ferrara. He in- 
tervened in the affair of the Venturozzo-Tamari divorce (see 
Moses b. Abraham *Provencale), taking the side of Tamari. He 
edited Isaac ^AbrabaneYs Mayenei ha-Yeshudh (Ferrara, 1551), 
and included his biography of Abrabanel. In this he expresses 
his thanks to Joseph and Samuel, AbrabaneFs sons, then resi- 
dent in Ferrara, for providing him with the necessary informa- 
tion. He also edited Moses *Alashkars Hassagot on Shem Tov 
b. Shem Tovs Sefer ha-Emunot (ibid., 1556) with an introduc- 
tion. A responsum by Forti of 1565 is included in the responsa 
of Moses Isserles (Resp. Rema 36), while others are extant in 
the Mortar a collection (at present in the Kaufmann Library 
of Budapest; M. Weisz, Katalog ... D. Kaufmann (1906), nos. 
152,157,160) and in a manuscript in the collection of Zadok 
Kahn (Paris). An alphabetical index of Maimoni des* M/s/me/i 
Torah from a manuscript in Forti s possession was appended 
to the Venice 1574/76 edition. 

bibliography: Ghirondi-Neppi, 53, 63; Carmoly, in: Ozar 
Nehmad, 2 (1857), 62; A. Pesaro, Memorie Storiche sulla Comunitd Is- 
raelitica Ferrarese (1878), 22; Michael, Or, no. 634; Finkelstein, Mid- 
dle Ages, 302f.; Bernstein, in: hhy, 14 (1930), 58-60; S. Simonsohn, 
Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Dukkasut Mantovah, 1 (1962), 303; 2 (1964), 
365, 369, 425; idem, in: Tarbiz. 28 (1958/59), 378, 383-6; Kupfer, ibid.-, 

38 (1968/69), 54-60. 

[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto] 

BEN ABRAHAM ISRAEL (1689-1782), Italian kabbalist. 
Forti studied under Mordecai *Bassani in Verona and later 
under Moses Hayyim *Luzzatto in Padua. He became chief 
rabbi of Padua, and Shabbetai Medini and Ariel Alatino were 
among his pupils. His glosses to the four Turim of * Jacob b. 
Asher and commentary to the Shulhan Arukh as well as a 
methodology of the Talmud and the posekim and a collection 
of sermons survived in manuscript form. Some of his many 
responsa were published in the works of others. The records 
of his halakhic dispute with the rabbis of Venice regarding 
the business methods of its merchants are brought together 
in the Mishpat Shalom (in manuscript) of Isaac b. Asher Paci- 
fico. Forti died in Padua. 

bibliography: Ghirondi-Neppi, 148, 150. 

[Samuel Abba Horodezky] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



FORTIS (Heb. Hazak), ABRAHAM ISAAC (d. c. 1731), 
physician and communal leader in Poland. He is recorded 
in Poland around 1690, having come from Italy as a young 
man (bahur). Moses *Zacuto, in the same year in Mantua, 
praised his wide knowledge in "Torah learning" in addition 
to his distinction in medicine. A clergyman who later became 
acquainted with him in Poland was amazed at his erudition 
in Christian theological literature. Fortis settled in the prov- 
ince of "Russia" living in Lvov, Jaroslaw, and Rzeszow (from 
1706), and served as physician to Prince Lubomirski in Rz- 
eszow, and to Count Potocki in Lezajsk, who tried to convert 
him. In 1710 he and another Jewish physician, who had also 
completed his studies in Italy, were summoned in connection 
with their qualifications before the crown tribunal of Lublin. 
Fortis also concerned himself with Jewish affairs. For many 
years he took part in the leadership of the Jews of the prov- 
ince (galil)> and between 1726 and 1730 served as parnas of 
the ^Council of Four Lands. He had several sons who became 
rabbis or physicians. 

bibliography: Halpern, Pinkas, index, s.v. Izhak ben She- 
mu'el Zeynvil Rofe Hazak Fortis. 

[Israel Halpern] 

TESTIMONY. The archive began in New Haven, Connecti- 
cut, in 1979 when Laurel Vlock, a television journalist, and Dr. 
Dori Laub, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist met and re- 
corded Dr. Laub's testimony. This initial effort led to the Ho- 
locaust Survivors' Film Project, Inc, a grassroots organization, 
created to videotape local Holocaust survivors and witnesses. 
The project was based on the belief that every survivor has a 
unique story to tell, that there was a diminishing window of 
opportunity to record their testimonies, and that video would 
be an effective vehicle for capturing Holocaust survivors' ex- 
periences. This initial effort recorded nearly 200 testimonies. 
These tapes were donated to Yale University in 1981, and in 
1982 the Video Archive was established at the university's Ster- 
ling Memorial Library. Sterling Professor Geoffrey Hartmann, 
who had written extensively about Holocaust memory and tes- 
timony, became the faculty advisor and project director and a 
driving force in its development. 

The archival collection has grown to over 4,300 items. 
These testimonies reflect the diversity of the witnesses and 
include accounts by Holocaust survivors, liberators, resisters, 
and bystanders. The tapes are catalogued and cross-referenced 
and are available to educators, researchers, and the public. 

The Archive is an ongoing effort to preserve Holocaust 
memory. It works with affiliated video -testimony projects 
around the United States, Europe, Israel, and South America 
and has undertaken joint projects with the U.S. Holocaust Me- 
morial Museums. Interviewers in affiliated projects are trained 
in its methodology and both the Archive and the affiliate re- 
ceive a copy of the recorded testimony for their collections. 

When the Video Archive was established it's interview- 
ing philosophy was a departure from other oral history proj- 

ects because it stressed the role of the witness rather than the 
interviewer in leading the interview. The interview is delib- 
erately unstructured and open-ended; its content and direc- 
tion determined by the witness rather than the interviewer. 
The latter asks questions primarily for clarification of time 
and place or for elaboration on a subject that the witness has 
already raised. 

The Video Archive has an intensive training program. 
It is designed to prepare its interviewers both in methodol- 
ogy and in the background to the witnesses' experiences. The 
participants read and attend lectures on history, observe taped 
interviews, and discuss the Archive's interviewing techniques. 
The Archive has lent its expertise to other Holocaust organi- 
zations as well as international groups concerned preserving 
the memory of other genocides in the 20 th century. 

Education is a key to the goals of the Archive. In order 
to further the use of witness accounts in the classroom, it has 
created a library of edited video testimonies that are available 
to teachers and community groups. The Archive has also col- 
laborated with educational organizations that have developed 
study guides using testimony. In addition, it sponsors aca- 
demic conferences on Holocaust education and research. 

The Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies en- 
courages use of its collection to the widest audience possible 
through its website: It has produced a 
television documentary of its own and spurred educational 


[Beth Cohen (2 nd ed.)] 

FOSS (Fuchs), LUKAS (1922- ), U.S. composer, pianist, 
and conductor. Born in Berlin, he immigrated to the U.S. in 
1937. He was pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
from 1944 to 1950. He was the youngest composer to receive 
a Guggenheim Fellowship (1945), appeared as soloist in his 
own piano concertos with a number of orchestras in the U.S. 
and Europe, and conducted his first symphony in Pittsburgh 
in 1945. He taught composition at the Berkshire Music Cen- 
ter and at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1963 
he was appointed conductor and music director of the Buffalo 
Philharmonic Orchestra where he remained until 1970, when 
he became a freelance conductor and was visiting professor 
at Harvard University. He was chief conductor and advisor of 
the Israel Broadcasting Authority's Jerusalem Symphony Or- 
chestra from 1972 until 1975. A precocious talent, he had some 
pieces published at the age of 15. His early works are neo-ro- 
mantic in nature. Among them the most important are the 
cantata The Prairie (1942), the cantata Song of Songs (1947), 
an opera after Mark Twain The Jumping Frog of Calaveras 
County (1950), the cantata A Parable of Death (1953), the tele- 
vision opera Griffelkin (1955), and Time Cycle for soprano and 
orchestra (i960). Then Foss turned to ultramodernism using 
the extreme procedures of the avant-garde, including aleatory 
devices of "controlled improvisation." To this period belong 
his Echoi for instruments (1963) and Elytres for chamber or- 
chestra (1964). His Phorion for strings, electronic organ, and 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


amplified harpsichord and harp (1967) is a metamorphosis of 
a Bach prelude. In his later works Foss strove to combine his 
earlier, sometimes more conservative and sometimes specifi- 
cally American, style with experiments of his modernist pe- 
riod (American Cantata, 1976; Renaissance Concerto for Flute 
and Orchestra, 1985). As a conductor, Foss always sought to 
popularize new music; in 1973 in Brooklyn he began "Meet 
the Moderns," a series of new music concerts as well as dis- 
cussions with composers. 

add. bibliography: ng 2 ; mgg 2 ; K.J. Verone, Lukas Foss: A 
Bio-Bibliography (1991). 

[Nicolas Slonimsky / Yulia Kreinin (2 nd ed.)] 

FOSSANO, town in N.W. Italy. Fossano was one of the three 
communities, with Asti and Moncalvo, which preserved the 
special liturgy of French origin known as the *Apam rite. 
Jewish bankers in Fossano are first mentioned in the 1670s. 
A ghetto was established in 1724. There were then approxi- 
mately 100 Jews living in Fossano. The "miraculous" escape 
of the Jews from a riot on the fourth night of Passover during 
the French revolutionary wars (1796) was long commemo- 
rated by a local Purim. The community ceased to exist before 
World War 11. 

bibliography: Roth, in: rmi, 5 (1930/31), 36-39; idem, in; 
huca, 10 (1935), 457-60; Colombo and Tedesco, in: rmi, 29 (1963), 
129-41; Milano, Bibliotheca, index, add. bibliography: M. Acan- 
fora Torrefranca, "11 rito apam; una diversa tradizione musicale?" 
in: Scritti sulVebraismo in memoria di Emanuele Menachem Artom 
(1996), 322-28. 

[Daniel Carpi] 

FOSSOLI, internment camp for British prisoners of war in 
the village of Fossoli, on the outskirts of the town of Carpi, in 
the province of Modena (Emilia), created by the Italian army 
in 1942. Opening in July, the camp consisted primarily of tents 
housing 1,800 British internees and 350 Italian guards under 
the command of Col. Giuseppe Ferraresi. In September a 
second section was opened and work began to substitute the 
tents with barracks. Living conditions for the prisoners were 
in accordance with international law, and representatives of 
the Red Cross visited regularly. By the summer of 1943, the 
two sections of the camp held about 4,000 prisoners. 

After the Italian armistice with the Allies announced on 
September 8, 1943, the Germans began their long-planned oc- 
cupation of Italy. Fossoli was under German control by the 9 th . 
All Allied prisoners were deported to German camps, primar- 
ily Bergen-Belsen, during the second half of September. 

At the end of November 1943, police order number 5 of 
the Ministry of the Interior of the Italian Social Republic an- 
nounced that all properties of Jews were to be confiscated and 
that the Jews themselves should be arrested and detained. On 
December 5, the second section of the Fossoli camp was des- 
ignated for Jewish prisoners and placed under the authority of 
the prefect of Modena, Bruno Calzolari. Within a few weeks, 
almost 1,000 Jews were detained in the camp. On March 15, 

the Germans officially took over the second section, which 
they had unofficially occupied since February, and placed it 
under the authority of the Befehlshaber der Sipo-SD, Wilhelm 
Harster, who resided in Verona. The second section then be- 
came a Polizei- und Durchgangslager controlled directly by 
the German ss and used as a base for the deportation of Jews 
and political prisoners to the East. The Italians continued to 
control the other section of the camp, where prisoners not 
destined for deportation were held, ss Untersturmfuehrer 
Karl Titho, aided by ss Hauptscharfueher Hans Haage, were 
awarded the direct command of the German section of Fos- 
soli. Under them was a small group of ss, some Ukrainian vol- 
unteers, and some Italians from the Social Republic. Italians 
arrested for political or racial reasons, mainly in the north- 
western region of the country, were sent to Fossoli. Deporta- 
tions began on February 19, 1944, and ended on August 1 of 
that year, when the advancing Allies forced the Germans to 
retreat farther north. At that point, the Germans established 
their camp for political and racial prisoners at Bolzano-Gries. 
Altogether, about 5,000 prisoners were deported from Fossoli, 
of whom 2,461 were Jews. 

Between autumn 1945 and the second half of the 1960s, 
Fossoli hosted various kinds of refugees: foreigners residing 
temporarily in Italy in the first postwar years as well as, after 
1952, Italians fleeing from Dalmatia, controlled by Tito. The 
camp was then abandoned for several years. In 1973, the mayor 
of Carpi asked the Italian government for authority to turn 
Fossoli into a site of special remembrance. This was done in 
1984. In 1996, a cultural foundation at the former camp was 
created for the purpose of educating new generations and nur- 
turing the memory of the suffering that had occurred there. 
A study center dedicated to the memory of Primo *Levi, the 
great Italian Jewish writer who was deported to Auschwitz 
from the camp on February 22, 1944, was also created there. 

bibliography: M. Sarfatti, Gli Ebrei nell Italia fascista: Vi- 
cende, identitd, persecuzione (2001); C.S. Capogreco, I Campi del 
Duce. (2004). 

[Guri Schwarz (2 nd ed.)] 

FOULD, family of French bankers and politicians. The Fould- 
Oppenheim banking house was founded by ber leon fould 
(1767-1855) and expanded by his eldest son benoit (Benedict; 
1792-1858), who succeeded his father as manager. In 1827 he 
was made a judge of the commercial court and from 1834 to 
1842 sat in the Chamber of Deputies as conservative member 
for St. Quentin. An expert on financial matters, Fould was 
active in Jewish communal affairs and spoke in parliament 
in connection with the ^Damascus Affair, protesting against 
the fact that the French consul had permitted the use of tor- 
ture, achille (1800-1867), second son of Ber Leon, shared 
the management of the bank with his brother Benoit, before 
entering public life as a member of the General Council of the 
Hautes Pyrenees. In 1842 he was elected to the Chamber of 
Deputies where he supported the conservative financial poli- 
cies of the chief minister, Francois Guizot. When Guizot went 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



into exile following the outbreak of the 1848 revolution, Fould 
withdrew from politics and wrote three pamphlets attacking 
the new governments financial policies. In the following year, 
he retired from the banking house to devote himself to politics 
and was made minister of finance by Louis Napoleon. He was 
responsible for the reform of the postal service, the abolition 
of income tax, and the initiation of old-age pensions. Fould 
was twice dismissed and twice recalled to the government; in 
1852 he was made a minister of state, and was the first Jew to 
be appointed a senator. In 1861 Fould was appointed minister 
of finance for the third time to check the rising national defi- 
cit and in 1863 he reduced the floating debt by negotiating a 
loan of 300,000,000 francs. He retired in 1867. Though he re- 
mained a Jew, Fould married into a Protestant family and his 
children were brought up as Christians. Two sons ernest 

ADOLPHE (1824-1875) andEDOUARD MATHURIN (1834-1881) 

both sat in the Chamber of Deputies, as did his grandson 


(1836-1884) was a successful playwright and producer. 

bibliography: P. Emden, Money Powers of Europe (1938), 
index, includes bibliography. 

FOUNDATIONS. The earliest period for which there are 
records of Jews having established foundations is the Middle 
Ages. In particular, Joseph Ephraim ha-Levi of Ecija, Castile, 
is known to have endowed the school of the Jewish commu- 
nity in 1332. In the modern period Jonas *Fraenkel (1773-1846) 
bequeathed the greater part of his fortune to establish a sem- 
inary, which eventually opened in Breslau. In 1866 Moses 
*Montefiore set up an endowment to maintain a synagogue 
and college near his home at Ramsgate. On his death, control 
passed to the elders of the London Congregation of Span- 
ish and Portuguese Jews. The philanthropy of Maurice de 
*Hirsch, apart from the Jewish Colonization Association, in- 
cluded substantial gifts of a permanent character, e.g., 12 mil- 
lion gold francs for the education of Jews in Austria (1888) and 
the Baron de Hirsch Fund, New York (1891). 

[Dan S. Rosenberg and Sefton D. Temkin] 

The evolution of much of Jewish philanthropy from a com- 
munal base to an entrepreneurial market-driven base is one of 
the important subtexts of late 20 th century Jewish America. To 
understand contemporary American Jewry, one must explore 
the growth of Jewish foundations, their impact on communal 
structures, various models of foundation partnership and col- 
laboration, and some projections for future development. 

In the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville described one of the 
unique attributes of American life: voluntarism. Whether due 
to mistrust of government or an emergence of a richer civic 
society, Americans strongly identified with the creation of vol- 
untary associations aimed at improving quality of life along 
with fulfilling various affinity needs of the population. By the 
late 19 th century this emerged into a serious third sector: a 
nongovernmental, not-for-profit sector whose existence was to 
improve the common good and as the 20 th century tax struc- 

ture developed this sector grew exponentially in recognition 
of the unique societal role this sector was playing. 

At about the same time, led by figures such as Andrew 
Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford the creation of 
charitable foundations (many of which were to exist in perpe- 
tuity) to enhance the public good in the name of and as part of 
the legacy of entrepreneurs also became a component of the 
American scene. Philanthropy became serious business and 
even with increased regulations brought about by the 1969 
Tax Reform Act, became a business of enormous growth. By 
the end of the 20 th century more than 80,000 grantmakers, of 
which 60,000 were in the form of foundations, making over 
500,000 grants, existed within the United States with assets 
in excess of a quarter of a trillion dollars. It is estimated that 
10,000 of these are Jewish family foundations, an overrepre- 
sentation by more than eight times the Jewish representation 
in the population. 

There are serious definitional problems in creating a tax- 
onomy for Jewish foundations resulting in a paucity of reliable 
data as to both numbers, dollar values, and impact of these 
foundations. Among these issues are those that have to do with 
the definition of a Jewish foundation. Is it a foundation whose 
principal is/was Jewish? Whose board is primarily Jewish? Is it 
a foundation whose historic giving patterns were primarily to 
the Jewish community? Exclusively? Somewhat? Must its char- 
ter specify a Jewish purpose? Is a foundation Jewish if founded 
by a Jewish principal whose distributions throughout the first 
generation were for the benefit of Jewish causes but today is 
governed by the heirs who are no longer Jewish and who no 
longer support Jewish causes? What if that foundation gives 
exclusively to Israel causes? What if those Israel causes are to 
support the 18% of the Israeli population that is Arab? 

Further, organizational definition problems also create 
a barrier to full understanding. Should we consider as Jewish 
foundations those donor-advised funds that sit either at Fed- 
erations, Federation-supported community foundations, or 
general community foundations? These donor- advised funds 
are no longer the assets of an entity controlled by the donor. 
They are the assets of the community foundation. However, 
the foundation has indicated that it will generally follow the 
advisory role given to the donor (or his/her designees). With 
Federation-related foundation assets approaching $4 billion, 
the relevance of these questions becomes clear as one wants 
to understand the depth and breadth of the field. 

The first two-thirds of the 20 th century saw the develop- 
ment of the North American Federation system as the New 
Worlds replication of the European kehillah. While vastly dif- 
ferent from the European model and far more voluntarily 
driven, the Federation became the community's address for 
collective responsibility of Jews one to another. Its fundraising 
prowess grew dramatically through the first half of the cen- 
tury and culminated in unprecedented support of the * United 
Jewish Appeal, the central overseas arm of this movement, in 
1948. On an inflation-adjusted basis, this was the most pow- 
erful fundraising year in mature communities either before 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


or since. For the birth of the State of Israel was the ultimate 
Jewish act of collective responsibility and even those who did 
not physically participate were prepared to fiscally contribute. 
The u JA/Federation campaigns were especially relevant at the 
most critical moments of Israel's life. The years 1956, 1967, 1973, 
1982, and 1990 were significant blips on a long term donation 
curve showing the powerful relationship between amkha and 
an Israel in trouble (or in the case of 1990 with the coming So- 
viet ally ah of one million people in a moment of extraordinary 
opportunity). Non-donors became donors and lapsed donors 
gave again. Yet on an inflation- adjusted basis, the decline in 
the ujA/Federation annual campaign revenues is clear and evi- 
dent with both a real dollar decline of almost one-third every 
decade and a market share decline of an equally significant 
proportion. Outside of times of crisis, federations engaged in 
serious planning processes aimed at determining how best to 
serve the need of Jews locally and around the world as com- 
munity-driven, consensus-sensitive organizations. The pro- 
cesses required to govern called for serious and extensive in- 
volvement. Immediate and rapid decisions could not be made. 
Rarely, could an individual feel like (s)he as an individual, was 
determining the course of the future. 

In many ways this corporate culture was antithetical to 
the successful entrepreneurs who built their businesses by 
making decisions and unilaterally determining the future. 
While the major Jewish philanthropists continued to finan- 
cially support the uj A/Federation movement as well as many 
of the other Jewish organizational entities which emerged in 
North American life, many decided that they wanted more 
personal hands on involvement in their philanthropy and, of- 
ten, shaping the Jewish world. At the same time their legal and 
tax advisors were encouraging them to set aside funds to meet 
their philanthropic obligations so as to take advantage of gen- 
erous American (and less so, Canadian) tax policies in which 
they could forgo substantial taxes and only be required to an- 
nually spend five percent of the funds set aside in these tax 
exempt private foundations. By the 1990s, many of these foun- 
dations (Abraham, Bronfman, Crown, Goldman,Haas, Mar- 
cus, Schusterman, Spielberg, Steinhardt, Weinberg, Wexner) 
became household names in the organized Jewish world. They 
were the supporters of many initiatives of Jewish life. 

An interesting dynamic began to occur at this time. The 
first was a planned initiative that was created so as to have 
many of these "mega" philanthropists in the Jewish commu- 
nity get to know one another. Following the very successful 
launch of Operation Exodus, the campaign to support the ali- 
yah of Soviet Jews to Israel accompanying the opening of the 
Soviet Union, at which $54 million was raised at a breakfast of 
just a few major donors, the then-CEO of United Jewish Ap- 
peal recognized that these generous individuals did not know 
one another. He organized a Study Group of major foundation 
principals from North America and elsewhere, which came 
together twice a year to study together issues of contemporary 
Jewish life. Much of the time of the Study Group was devoted 
to its various members getting to know one another and to 

learn of each other's interests. Not surprisingly, a number of 
initiatives emerged in which members of the group partnered 
to change Jewish life. First among these was the rescue and 
resuscitation of Hillel, the American Jewish entity responsible 
for Jewish life on university and college campuses. Other ini- 
tiatives which emerged came from the energy and vision of 
the various Group members. The Partnership for Excellence 
in Jewish Education (peje) developed as a partnership of a 
number of philanthropists (and one federation) initiated by 
a half dozen of the Study Group members. Within a year after 
two of its members launched Birthright Israel, eight Group 
members became founders with initial donations of $5 million 
each, unprecedented in the scope of non capital project related 
startups. This effort attracted both the government of Israel 
and the communities of the world through the Federations, 
Keren Hayesod, and the Jewish Agency for Israel as partners, 
resulting in more than 70,000 young adults from 36 countries 
having their first living and learning experience in Israel. 

This emerging trend did not come without concerns with 
entrepreneurial unilateral decision-making becoming more 
prevalent. Would federations be expected to pick up the pieces 
after foundations became fatigued while funding a program 
(even if worthwhile) for several years? Have we created new 
ethical dilemmas replacing a democratic, open Federation 
model with an autocratic, closed one? In smaller communities 
what role would emerge from local foundations whose assets 
and annual revenues greatly exceeded that of the community's 
structures? While there was a century worth of experience in 
the general world of foundations, the world of Jewish founda- 
tions tends to be significantly younger, especially those with 
assets in excess of $100 million. 

Further, the general infrastructure of Jewish family foun- 
dations is yet underdeveloped. The Jewish Funders Network, 
founded in 1991, became a membership organization that 
was designed to respond to the needs of individual Jewish 
funders and foundations. Its annual meeting which attracts 
close to three hundred has subjects ranging from a fifth gen- 
eration Rockefeller's guidance on philanthropy to the Israeli- 
Palestinian situation with major speakers in a variety of ar- 
eas and includes donors of as little as $25,000 a year to those 
who are responsible for distributing as much as $50 million a 
year. In recent years federation endowment funds and affili- 
ated foundations are among those who have participated in 
Jewish Funders Network meetings and there has been serious 
engagement on the many ethical and planning issues with re- 
gard to the relationship between the funders, the independent 
funders, and their communal organizational brethren. As the 
Jewish Funders Network becomes a more sophisticated set- 
ting, it is developing affinity groups with interest in areas such 
as Jewish education, the needy in Israel, etc. 

As with American foundations in general, the over- 
whelming majority of Jewish family foundations have no 
staff and are managed by the principals, with assistance from 
families and or businesses. Nevertheless, 24% give away more 
than $250,000 a year and, increasingly, professional assistance 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



is being sought to facilitate the management thereof. As with 
all American foundations, increasing attention is being paid 
to philanthropic impact including the evaluation of programs 
and projects supported by these foundations and in some 
cases the external evaluation of the foundation's own perfor- 
mance. In the late 1990s a group was established in London 
which brought together European, Israeli, and North Ameri- 
can foundations who operated multinationally. These tended 
to be larger foundations and the objective of the group was to 
create a setting where principals and/or chief professionals in 
the Jewish funding arena could engage in exchanges that better 
met the needs of these larger multinational foundations. 

The federation communal structure, in recognition of 
these trends, began a number of initiatives aimed at provid- 
ing donors with collaborative models for giving, distinct from 
the historical annual campaign in which the distribution of all 
available funds was determined by a volunteer- driven plan- 
ning and allocations process. Beginning in Washington, and 
then moving on to Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles Jew- 
ish venture philanthropy funds were established to engage 
younger donors in collaborative funding. While many of these 
funds did not meet the technical terms of "venture philan- 
thropy" they became important experiments in creating fund- 
ing collaboratives within the Federation structure yet outside 
of the formal allocations process. Similarly, several federations 
created Jewish women's foundations, which brought together 
a different affinity group with some of the same attributes. It 
is highly likely that the next phase of Jewish philanthropic de- 
velopment will find various permutations of individual entre- 
preneurial and communal philanthropy as communities and 
donors learn from these experiences. 

In addition to the challenge of maintaining the collective 
strength, which so highlighted the effectiveness of Jewish phi- 
lanthropy, Jewish life is challenged in maintaining the interest 
of the most generous donors. In a study of American gifts of 
more than $10 million between 1995 and 2000, Jewish donors 
represented 18% of these "mega" gifts and 23% of the total giv- 
ing in this category while being only 2% of the total popula- 
tion. Only 6% of this support went to Jewish causes. 

In the early 21 st century, Jewish American foundations 
will see the greatest transfer of wealth in history as those 
who earned great fortunes in the mid- to late-20 th century 
bequeath their fortunes, thus creating a new generation of 
young philanthropists. This occurs at the same time there is 
a decentralization of Jewish philanthropy, moving away from 
the federation "central address" in favor of donor- driven pro- 
gramming. Simultaneously, philanthropy is becoming more 
hands-on with donor involvement beyond writing out checks. 
Donors are holding their own foundations and the commu- 
nity to higher standards of accountability. They seek not only 
greater involvement in decision-making as to the use of their 
support but also want to monitor the impact and effectiveness 
of its use. These dynamics will continue to create conflicts be- 
tween systems of collective responsibility and the emerging 
entrepreneurial foundation generation. The evaluation of Jew- 

ish family foundations is early in its development, but already 
has radically altered the Jewish philanthropic scene. 
See also ^Philanthropy. 

[Jeffrey R. Solomon (2 nd ed.)] 

add. bibliography: R. Greenberg, "Is It Good for the 
Jews?" in: B'nai B'rith (Winter 2003-4); G.A. Tobin, Jewish Family 
Foundations Study (1996); G.A. Tobin, J.R. Solomon, and A.C. Karp. 
Mega-Gifts in American Jewish Philanthropy (2003); U.S. Census Bu- 
reau, Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005. 

FOUR CAPTIVES, THE, story circulated in Spain in the 
Middle Ages on the subject of four rabbis who were taken 
captive. According to this story, which is preserved in Abra- 
ham *Ibn Dauds Sefer ha-Kabbalah (The Book of Tradition, 
ed. by G.D. Cohen (1967), 46-49, 63-67), a Muslim sea raider 
from Cordoba, Spain (probably Ibn Rumahis, 974) captured 
a ship which had set sail from Bari in southern Italy. On it 
were four rabbis who were on a mission (it is conjectured 
on behalf of the Babylonian academy) to raise funds for the 
dowries of poor brides. These rabbis were redeemed by Jew- 
ish communities: R. *Shemariah b. Elhanan in Alexandria, 
Egypt; R. *Hushiel was sold in "Africa" (i.e., Tunisia) and be- 
came the leader of the Kairouan rabbis; R. *Moses b. Hanokh 
and his son *Hanokh were redeemed in Cordoba. The identity 
of the fourth captive and the place where he was redeemed 
was not stated. 

There are various opinions among researchers as to the 
authenticity of this story. The principal argument against its 
veracity is to be found in a letter written by R. Hushiel to R. 
Shemariah b. Elhanan and his son Elhanan, from which it is 
evident that he left his country (perhaps Italy) voluntarily in 
order to travel to Egypt, but remained in Kairouan to await 
the arrival of his son Elhanan. It also appears that R. Shem- 
ariah b. Elhanan was already in Egypt, as his father was the 
leader of Egyptian Jewry. Another objection is chronological. 
On the one hand, Ibn Daud writes {ibid., 66/48) that the ap- 
pointment of R. Moses b. Hanokh occurred during the lifetime 
of R. *Sherira Gaon in about 990, while on the other hand, 
it appears from his account that his appointment, as well as 
that of his son Hanokh several years later, occurred during 
the lifetime of *Hisdai ibn Shaprut, who died in about 990 
(ibid. y 67). The story of Ibn Daud reflects the popular tradi- 
tion which was current among the Jews of Andalusia during 
the generation after R. Moses Hanokh's arrival in Spain. A 
proof for the relative antiquity of the tradition is the fact that 
David *Conforte, in his Kore ha-Dorot (1846, 5a), recounts it 
on the authority of ^Samuel ha-Nagid (993-1056). By this story 
Ibn Daud presumably wanted to demonstrate the historical 
fact of the disintegration of the spiritual center in Babylonia, 
its gradual removal to Spain from the beginning of the tenth 
century, and the end of the dependence of the Spanish rab- 
bis on Babylonia. From the time of the arrival of R. Moses b. 
Hanokh in Spain the Spanish scholars became independent. 
Indeed, the story of R. Moses B. Hanokhs appointment to 
the position of chief dayyan in Cordoba in the place of the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


dayyan R. Nathan, who surrendered his position to R. Moses 
b. Hanokh when he became aware of the latter s erudition, is 
an ancient motif which already existed in talmudic literature 
(in the story of *Hillel and the *Benei Bathyra, Pes. 66a). It 
appears that Abraham Ibn Daud and the author of Midr ash 
Tanhumciy who brings a similar motif (Tanh. Ex. 277), drew 
this idea from an ancient source. 

bibliography: S. Eppenstein, in: mgwj, 55 (1911), 324-9, 

464-77, 614-28; 56 (1912), 80-98; J. Mann, in: jqr, 9 (1918/ 19), 165-79; 

S. Schechter, in: jqr, 11 (1899), 643-50; G.D. Cohen, in: paajr, 29 

(1961), 55-131; Auerbach, in: Jahresbericht des Rabbiner-Seminars 

zu Berlin fuer 1925, 1926, 192"/ (1928), 1-39; L. Blau, in: Festschrift ... 

David Simonsen (1923), 129-33 (Ger.); Z. Javetz, Toledot Yisrael, 10 

(1932), 238-43; Abramson, Merkazim, 159-61; Ashtor, Korot, 1 (1966 2 ), 

289-90; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 1 (1965), 24 If., 382; M. Margalioth, Hil- 

khot ha-Nagid (1962), 6 f. 

[Abraham David] 

French philosopher and social reformer who inspired the Fou- 
rierist or Phalansterian school. Somewhat like Rousseau, Fou- 
rier pursued his aim - cure for social evils - with passionate 
dogmatism and intolerance. His dream of a better world went 
hand in hand with a phobia against foreigners, and above all 
Jews. For him commerce was "the source of all evil" and Jews 
were "the incarnation of commerce." In his earlier writings, 
Fourier leveled every accusation possible against the Jews. 
He believed that their economic activities were parasitic and 
rapacious and declared that there had never been "a nation 
more despicable than the Hebrews" (Theorie des quatre mou- 
vements et des destinies generates (1808), 61, 253), the emanci- 
pation of slaves and Jews having been effected too suddenly. 
Yet, either because he saw the Jews as a nation or because he 
wanted them out of France, Fourier became a kind of Zionist. 
In his last book, Lafausse Industrie (1836), he no longer gave 
vent to antisemitic remarks and advocated the reconstitution 
of the Hebrew nation in Palestine around a model Jewish "pha- 
lanstere yy - Fourier's own idea, a form of social organization 
in which goods and services were held in common - financed 
by Rothschild. However, Fourier's "Zionist" project remained 
unknown while his antisemitism was taken up by several of his 
followers, particularly A. *Toussenel. At the time of the Drey- 
fus case, the Fourierist newspaper edited by Adolphe Alhaiza 
was virulently antisemitic. 

bibliography: E. Silberner, Sozialisten zur Judenfrage (1962), 
index; idem, in: jsos, 8 (1946), 245-66; iess, 5 (1968), 547-8; L. Po- 
liakov, Histoire de VAnti-semitisme, 3 (1968), 380-4; M. Bourgin, Etude 
sur les sources de Fourier (1905). 

FOUR SPECIES (Heb. DTP nyjIN, arbaah minim), the four 
different plants which form an obligatory part of the rite of 
Sukkot according to the biblical commandment "And ye shall 
take you on the first day [of Sukkot] the fruit of goodly trees, 
branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows 
of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God se- 
ven days" (Lev. 23:40). "Ye shall dwell in booths for seven days" 

(Lev. 23:42) is also enjoined. Despite the fact that it would ap- 
pear that in the time of Nehemiah, the plants in the first verse 
were regarded as referring to the materials from which the 
sukkah (see: *Sukkot), mentioned in the second verse, was to 
be constructed (Neh. 8:15), the traditional interpretation sees 
it as a commandment separate and distinct from the injunc- 
tion of the sukkah. 

Two of the species are given explicitly: the "branches 
of palm trees" are the lulav, and the "willows of the brook," 
the aravot. Tradition has universally identified the "fruits of 
goodly trees" with the etrog and the "boughs of thick trees" 
with hadassim ("myrtle"; Suk. 3 2b -33 but see the remarkable 
passage in Lev. R. 30:15). The four species are made up of three 
sprigs of myrtle and two of willow, which are bound to the 
lulav with strips of palm, the former on the right and the lat- 
ter on the left of the lulav. They are held in the right hand and 
the etrog is held separately in the left (Suk. 37b). 

During the Temple period the main ceremonial of the 
four species took place in the Temple. They were taken and 
waved during the seven days of Sukkot whereas elsewhere, 
the rite was confined to the first day only (Suk. 3:12). They 
were waved in a prescribed manner: toward the east, south, 
west, north, upward, and downward, in acknowledgment of 
the divine rule over nature (Suk. 37b). This took place dur- 
ing the recitation of Psalms 118:1-2 and 25 in the Hallel. After 
the Musaf sacrifice of the day had been offered, the four spe- 
cies were again taken, this time in procession around the al- 
tar while Psalms 118:25, or the words ani va-hu hoshiah na, a 
popular version of that verse, were chanted. On the first six 
days, only one circuit of the altar was made; on the seventh 
day, seven circuits. After the destruction of the Temple, R. 
*Johanan b. Zakkai ordained the Temple ceremonial as uni- 
versal practice "in remembrance of the Temple" (Suk. 3:12); 
all the features of the Temple rite were included in the syna- 
gogue service (see: Sukkot, *Hoshana Rabba). 

The popularity of the ceremony during the period of the 
Second Temple is reflected in the fact that *Hanukkah was cel- 
ebrated by the Maccabees as a second Feast of Tabernacles, as 
well as in the incident in which the vast throng of worship- 
ers in the Temple pelted King Alexander *Yannai with their 
etrogim during the festival, in protest against his disregard of 
the Feast of Water Drawing (see *Sukkot) (Jos., Ant., 13:372; 
cf. Suk. 4:9). The remarkable hold which the four species had 
on the sentiments of the people during the Second Temple pe- 
riod, and immediately afterward, is evidenced by the fact that 
even during the rigors of war, Bar Kokhba took special care 
to see that his warriors were supplied with them (see Yadin, 
in bjpes, 25 (1961), 60-62). 

In the Bible no attempt is made to explain the symbol- 
ism of the four species. They probably symbolized the fertility 
of the land as evidenced in the harvest just concluded, and as 
desired for the coming season, especially with a view to the 
fact that the rains are due immediately after Sukkot. The Mi- 
dr ash gives a number of moral and homiletic interpretations 
(see Lev. R. 30:9-12); the most popular {ibid., 30:12) is based 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



on the qualities of the four trees. The etrog has both "taste 
and odor" the date (palm) only taste, the myrtle only odor, 
the willow none, "taste and odor" symbolize "To rah and good 
works"; respectively the four species represent four categories 
of Jews insofar as they possess both, one, or none of these vir- 
tues. But Israel is regarded as a whole, and the failings of one 
are compensated for by the virtues of the others. 

Another interpretation depends upon the shape of the 
species. The lulav resembles the spine, the etrog the heart, the 
myrtle leaves the eye, and the willow leaves the mouth. There- 
fore one should submit these organs, and all the others, to the 
service of God, in accordance with Psalms 35:10, "All my bones 
shall say, Lord, who is like unto Thee" (Lev. R. 30:14). It has 
also been suggested that the four species represent the four 
agricultural areas of Israel: the lulav, the lowland; the aravot, 
the river; the hadassim y the mountains; and the etrog, the ir- 
rigated areas. Kabbalistic symbolism interprets the four spe- 
cies in terms of the doctrine of the Sefirot. 

[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz] 

FOX (Heb. byw), the Vulpes vulpes. The biblical name is 
shu'aly as in the passage: "Take us the foxes, the little foxes that 
spoil the vineyards" (Song 2:15). The comparison in Ezekiel 
13:4 of the false prophets to foxes may be a reference to their 
craftiness or to their habit of frequenting ruins. Parables about 
the fox's cunning are contained in the folklore of various na- 
tions; R. Meir is said to have compiled 300 fox fables (Sanh. 
38b). The word shual however is also used for the jackal, and 
the other biblical passages in which it occurs, e.g., the one in 
which Samson is said to have caught 300 shualim (Judg. 15:4), 
probably refer to it. The place-name Shaalbim (Judg. 1:35) or 
Shaalabbin (Josh. 19:42) is probably the etymon (in the plu- 
ral) of the Arabic and Akkadian words for "fox," - thdlab and 
selibu, respectively. 

bibliography: S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Hai be-Erez Yisrael 

(1953), 244; Tristram, Nat Hist, 85-87. add. bibliography: Fe- 

liks, Ha-Zomeah, 279. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

FOX, BERNARD JOSHUA (1885-1978), Northern Irish 
judge. Born in Belfast, Fox was admitted to the Irish bar in 1914 
and was legal adviser to the government of Northern Ireland 
from 1939 to 1944 when he was given a judgeship as Recorder 
of Belfast. He was chairman of several government commit- 
tees including the wartime Price Regulation Committee for 
Northern Ireland. He retired in i960. 

FOX, CHAIMLEIB (Fuks/Fuchs; 1897-1984), Yiddish au- 
thor and journalist. Born in Lodz, Fox was at the center of its 
Yiddish literary life, which he described in a number of es- 
says (e.g., "Dos Yidishe Literarishe Lodzh" ("Yiddish Liter- 
ary Lodz"), in: Fun Noentn Over, 3 (1957), 189-284) and in his 
monograph Lodzh shelMayle ("Heavenly Lodz," 1972). During 
World War 1 Fox was a labor conscript in Germany. After a 
brief period in the *Bund, he joined the Labor Zionist move- 

ment and, in Palestine (1936-38), the Haganah. During World 
War 11 he was in the Soviet Union (1940-46) and thereafter 
lived in Lodz, Paris (1948-53), and New York. He wrote for 
many periodicals and contributed over 3,000 articles to the 
Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur. A poet of intense 
religious and national feeling, he published seven volumes of 
poetry (1926-82) and wrote the historical novel Gyoras Letster 
Veg("Gioras Final Road," 1939) and 100 Yor Yidishe un Hebre- 
ishe Prese in Kanade ("100 Years of Yiddish and Hebrew Press 
in Canada," 1980). 

bibliography: Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929), 32-3; lnyl, 7 
(1968), 322-5. add. bibliography: Kagan, Leksikon (1986), 439; 
I. Yanasowicz, Penemer un Nemen (1971), 262-72. 

[Leonard Prager / Tamar Lewinsky (2 nd ed.)] 

FOX, CHARLES (1876-1964), British psychologist. Born 
in London, Fox lectured at the Westminster Hospital Medi- 
cal School and at the Cambridge University Training College 
for Schoolmasters. In 1919 he was appointed principal of the 
Training College and director of training at Cambridge Uni- 
versity, serving through 1939. A specialist in the field of edu- 
cational psychology, his important books are Practical Psy- 
chology (1928), Educational Psychology (1925, 1950 4 ), and The 
Mind and Its Body (1931). His basic approach was to extract 
the practical features from each of the conflicting theoretical 
schools - such as the Freudian and the Gestalt - and to co- 
ordinate them so that they could be incorporated into an ex- 
panding science of learning. 

FOX, EMANUEL PHILIPS (1864-1915), Australian artist, 
generally known as E. Philips Fox. Born in Melbourne, Fox 
studied in Paris from 1886 to 1892, but returned to his birth- 
place, where he spent most of the rest of his life. His paint- 
ings, which include many commissioned portraits, are highly 
regarded and well-represented in Australia's galleries. Fox is 
probably the best-known Australian Jewish artist. 

bibliography: Australian Dictionary of Biography; H.L. 
Rubinstein, Australia 1, 446-47. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

FOX, EYTAN (1964- ), Israeli film director whose films often 
focus on homosexuals in Israel. His film Yossi & Jagger (2002) 
broke taboos in its depiction of a romance between two male 
idf soldiers and won a Best Actor Award at the Tribeca Film 
Festival in New York for leading man Ohad Knoller. Fox fol- 
lowed it up with Walk on Water (2004), the story of a Mossad 
agent assigned to spy on the homosexual grandson of a no- 
torious Nazi. Walk on Water was the first Israeli film ever se- 
lected to open the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Fes- 
tival. Born in New York, Fox moved to Israel as a child and 
made his name directing Florentine, a popular television show 
in the 1990s about young people in Tel Aviv. His other direct- 
ing credits include the films Gotta Have Heart (1997) and Song 

of the Siren (1994). 

[Hannah Brown (2 nd ed.)] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


FOX (Fuchs), JACOB SAMUEL (1868-1938), journalist and 
educator. Born in Bialystok, Russia, he obtained his rabbinical 
diploma at the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary and pursued his 
secular studies at Berlin and Berne. Turning to journalism, he 
edited Ha-Maggid he-Hadash (1891-98) and (together with A. 
Guenzig) Ha-Eshkol (1898-1912). A research trip prompted 
his final move to England in 1902, after which Fox decided 
to foster Jewish education in Liverpool by founding a He- 
brew higher grade school. He supported the establishment 
of the British Mizrachi and became principal of Aria College 
in Brighton. He was author of a monograph on Judah *Ibn 
BaPam. His son, isaac solomon fox (1896-1971), practiced 
as a physician, was mayor of Chester (1932-33) and chairman 
of the British Zionist Federation (1955-56). 

FOX, SIR JOHN JACOB (1874-1944), British chemist. Fox, 
who was born in London, studied at the Royal College of 
Science and entered government service in 1896. He was ap- 
pointed government chemist in 1936 and retained this post 
until his death. In organic chemistry Fox obtained noteworthy 
results with hydroxyazo compounds. Later he turned to the 
application of physical methods to the solution of chemical 
problems and to analysis. He applied ultraviolet and infrared 
spectroscopy to the study of elements, and his work on dia- 
monds was monumental. Fox was adept at improving both the 
procedures and the apparatus for analytical work, a major con- 
cern of the government's laboratory during both world wars. 
He was president of the Institute of Chemistry from 1940 to 
1942 and in 1943 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. 

[Samuel Aaron Miller] 

FOX, MARVIN (1922-1996), American Jewish educator. Born 
in Chicago, Fox received his B.A. in philosophy from North- 
western University in 1942, and his M.A. in the same field in 
1946, obtained his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 
1950, and completed his rabbinic studies at the Hebrew Theo- 
logical College in that city. He served as a Jewish chaplain in 
the U.S. Army Air Force during World War 11 (1942-46). He 
taught at Ohio State University from 1948 through 1974, rising 
from instructor to professor of philosophy. He was appointed 
acting chairman of the department of philosophy from 1963 to 
1964. He was a visiting professor of philosophy at the Hebrew 
University and Bar-Ilan University (1970-71). 

In 1974 he was appointed director of the Lown School 
of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, 
chairman of the department, and in 1976 became the Philip 
W Lown Professor of Jewish Philosophy. He was a founder 
and member of the executive committee of the Institute for 
Judaism and Contemporary Thought in Israel, a member of 
the Academic Board of the Melton Research Center of the 
Jewish Theological Seminary, and a member of the board of 
directors of the Library of Living Philosophers. 

For many years Fox was active in the Hebrew Day School 
movement in the United States under the aegis of Torah Ume- 

He received numerous academic awards, lectured widely 
at universities and at national and international academic con- 
ferences, and served as member of the National Endowment 
for the Humanities National Board of Consultants for new 
programs at colleges and universities. 

A prolific writer, he was a consulting editor of the Journal 
of the History of Philosophy and was the author of more than 
100 articles, which have appeared in scholarly journals, as well 
as in such general publications as Commentary, Tradition, and 
Judaism. Among Fox's important works are Kant's Fundamen- 
tal Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (1975), Modern Jew- 
ish Ethics and Practice (1975), From Ancient Israel to Modern 
Judaism: Intellect in Quest of Understanding, Volume 1 (1989), 
Interpreting Maimonides: Studies in Methodology, Metaphys- 
ics, and Moral Philosophy (1994), Collected Essays on Philoso- 
phy and on Judaism, Volume One: Greek Philosophy, Maimo- 
nides (ed. J. Neusner, published in 2003), Collected Essays on 
Philosophy and on Judaism, Volume Two: Some Philosophers 
(2003), and Collected Essays on Philosophy and on Judaism, 
Volume Three: Ethics, Reflections (2003). 

In 1996, Dr. June Fox donated her late husbands book 

collections to the library of the University of Chicago. The 

Marvin Fox Memorial Book Collection of Philosophy and 

Judaica is an invaluable resource on Judaism, secularism, and 

textual interpretation. 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FOX (Fuchs), WILLIAM (1879-1952), U.S. film producer. 
Born in Tulchva, Hungary, Fox worked in his youth in New 
York's garment center. In 1904 he bought his first nickelodeon, 
installed a motion picture machine, opened a chain of movie 
theaters in the U.S. and abroad, and started a career that led 
him in 1915 to the presidency of Fox Film and Fox Theater 
Corporations. Dissatisfied with the quality of films distrib- 
uted, he began to make his own films in a rented barn. In 1917 
he built studios in Hollywood. By the 1920s he had created a 
multimillion-dollar empire that controlled a large portion of 
the exhibition, distribution, and production of film facilities 
during the era of silent film. Fox introduced organ accom- 
paniment to the silent films shown in his theaters and was a 
pioneer in designing movie theaters for the comfort of its pa- 
trons. Through a well-orchestrated use of publicity, he devel- 
oped Theda Bara into the first screen vamp and the first film 
star. Even during the Great Depression, Fox had the foresight 
and the wherewithal to outfit more than a thousand theaters 
with equipment to make possible the advent of talking pic- 
tures. In 1927 he developed the first commercially successful 
sound film, the news series Movietone News. 

The stock market crash of 1929 and the entry of Wall 
Street into the film industry involved him in years of litigation 
and eventual loss of money and power. Charges of stock ma- 
nipulation were filed against him in 1932, and he told a Senate 
subcommittee he was the target of a "bankers' conspiracy." He 
declared bankruptcy in 1936, and in 1942 served five months 
in prison on charges of obstructing justice in his bankruptcy 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



claim. The Fox Film Corporation was the antecedent of Twen- 
tieth Century Fox. 

bibliography: Americana Annual 1953. (1953), 259; J. Lau- 
rie, Vaudeville (1953), 410-1. 

[Linda Gutstein / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

FOXMAN, ABRAHAM (1940- ), Anti-Defamation League 
(adl) executive. Born in Poland in 1940, Foxman survived 
the Holocaust when his parents entrusted him to their Cath- 
olic nursemaid, who baptized him and raised him as her own 
son. After the war, which Foxmans parents, Helen and Jo- 
seph, miraculously survived, they returned to claim him but 
faced several custody battles, which they ultimately won. Fol- 
lowing their safe passage to a Displaced Persons Camp in the 
American Zone in Austria, the family eventually moved to the 
United States in January 1950. 

Three imperatives that have shaped his life are the legacy 
of the Holocaust, particularly his experience as a hidden child, 
and his belief in the necessity of working to insure the secu- 
rity of the State of Israel and the safety of Jews to live freely as 
Jews everywhere, especially the United States. 

Foxmans first assignment at the adl was as assistant 
director of the Law Department, where he worked under the 
guidance of the legendary Arnold Forster and the leadership of 
the late national director Benjamin R. Epstein. His ascension 
through adls professional staffranks mirrored the growth of 
the organization itself. As the first director of national lead- 
ership, Foxman created the annual Washington Leadership 
Conference. He founded and directed adls International Af- 
fairs Division, launching an Israel missions program that, at 
one point, had brought nearly one-third of all members of 
Congress on their first visit. When Nathan Perlmutter suc- 
cumbed to cancer in July 1987, Foxman was appointed na- 
tional director. 

Foxman elevated the profile of adl through a combina- 
tion of passion, intuition, and intellect. Two seminal and de- 
fining events would propel him to a mantle of moral authority: 
the first was adls response to the virulently antisemitic, anti- 
Catholic, and anti-white diatribe delivered in November 1993 
at New Jerseys Kean College by the Nation of Islam Lieutenant 
Khalid Abdul Mohammed. Among other rants, Mohammed 
wondered what was under the Pope's skirt, mocking the aging 
John Paul 11 and infuriating American Catholics, adls public 
rebuke of the noi leader in a full-page New York Times ad trig- 
gered a hailstorm of condemnation, from the halls of Congress 
to pulpits across the country. By meeting such hate head-on, 
Foxman placed adl on a stage that transcended the perceived 
boundaries of the organizations public advocacy. 

Shortly thereafter, adl released its benchmark survey on 
the growing influence of the Christian right. Titled The Reli- 
gious Right: the Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America, 
this book-length report, intended to be a factual and critical 
assessment of some of the individuals and groups within the 
movement and their efforts to chip away at the wall of sepa- 
ration between church and state, was met with near univer- 

sal hostility from those whom it addressed. Nonetheless, the 
resulting public hue and cry, and the "summit meetings" that 
would follow, established Foxman as the linchpin in a major 
national debate, which continued into the first decade of the 
21 st century, of the role of religion in American national life. 
In 2000, Foxman rebuked Democratic vice presidential 
candidate Senator Joseph *Lieberman, who spoke of the need 
for religious values in American life, for injecting religion into 
the public square. Foxman did not repeat this call during the 
2004 election, when religion again entered the public square, 
for he was still regaining his balance after a nearly year-long 
controversy over Mel Gibsons controversial film The Passion 
of the Christ. Foxmans initial private and respectful inquiries 
to Gibson went unanswered. Instead of following the cus- 
tomary American protocol and meeting with Jewish lead- 
ers in the hope of finding common ground, Gibson and his 
followers turned the tables and accused their accusers of 
being anti- Christian, a charge reiterated so often on cable tele- 
vision shows, in conservative newspapers, and among web 
"bloggers" that it became the dominant story. Some in the 
Jewish community would come to accuse Foxman of gener- 
ating more interest in the film than it might have otherwise 

[Richard S. Hirschhaut (2 nd ed.)] 

FRAENCKEL, LIEPMANN (1774-1857), miniature painter. 
Born in Germany, Fraenckel settled in Copenhagen in 1792. 
During a stay in Sweden from 1802 to 1805 he painted several 
members of the Swedish nobility. From 1814 he worked for the 
Danish court painting King Frederick vi and members of his 
family. Two hundred miniatures were made before 1830. In 
1826 he founded a wallpaper factory, which still exists. 

FRAENKEL (also Frankel, Fraenckel, Frankl, etc.), family 
widely scattered throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The 
name first appears in non- Jewish records as a designation for 
those who had immigrated to Vienna from "Frankenland," 
in the West. The family is traced back to two scholars in the 
Swabian town of Wallers tein in the 16 th century, Moses ha- 
Levi Heller and Aaron Heller. Moses was the ancestor of Kop- 
pel Fraenkel ha-Levi "the rich" of Vienna (see below). Mem- 
bers of the family married into the patrician Teomim (called 
Munk in non- Jewish sources), Mirels, and Spiro families of 
Vienna and Prague. The name begins in Jewish use in the late 
17 th century, and after the expulsion of the Jews from Vienna 
(1670) is found throughout Central and Eastern Europe. 
koppel fraenkel ha-levi (d. 1670), born in Baiersdorf, 
settled in Vienna around 1635 and became the richest man in 
the community. His sons david isaac (Seckel), Israel, and 
enoch (Hoenig) wound up the affairs of the Vienna com- 
munity after the expulsion of 1670, giving 20,000 florins and 
the crown jewels of the principality of Moldavia (pawned to 
Koppel in 1665) as a security for the outstanding Jewish debts. 
They paid the city 4,000 florins for maintenance of the Jewish 
cemetery. With good conduct certificates, signed by Leopold 1, 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


they moved to Fuerth, where David Isaac became head of the 
community. Israel subsequently officiated as rabbi in Holesov, 
Uhersky Brod, Pinsk, and Wuerzburg. Enoch taught Hebrew 
to Johann Chris toph *Wagenseil, and in 1683 sent him a letter 
stressing the importance of tolerance. Sons of Enoch were the 
ill-fated Ansbach Court Jews Elkan *Fraenkel and his brother 
Zevi Hirsch. gabriel and zach arias fraenkel, wealthy 
Court Jews to various south German principalities, resided 
in Fuerth but were not directly related to the Austrian levite 
branch. A son of David Isaac, issachar berman (d. 1708), 
became chief rabbi of Schnaittach, Bavaria, *Landesrabbiner of 
Ansbach, and rabbi of Brandenburg. Two of his sons, judah 
loeb and aaron levi, who published a collection of selihot, 
settled in Worms, where they and their descendants were 
prominent in communal life. The most noted of his numerous 
descendants was the founder of the Breslau seminary, Zach- 
arias *Frankel. isaac seckel *fraenkel, the exponent of 
extreme Reform Judaism, was probably a descendant, as was 
L.A. *Frankl, the Austrian writer. Members of the family were 
among the Jews originally expelled from Vienna who settled in 
Berlin and Brandenburg, one of whom was appointed leader 
(Obervorsteher) of all the newly arrived Jews, baermann 
fraenkel, another prominent communal leader, was fined 
20 talers in 1705 for conducting a too -raucous Purim festival. 
The most famous of the Berlin Fraenkels was David ben Naph- 
tali Hirsch ^Fraenkel, teacher of Moses ^Mendelssohn and 
rabbi of Berlin. His grandson jonas fraenckel (1773-1846), 
a wealthy Breslau merchant and philanthropist, donated the 
funds for the Breslau seminary. David Fraenkels brothers, 
Abraham and moses, were partners of V.H. *Ephraim in 
supplying precious metals to the mint, david ben moses 
fraenkel (d. 1865), director of the Dessau Franzschule and 
editor of *Sulamith y was a grandnephew of David Fraenkel; 
the wife of Leopold *Zunz was his grandniece. The Fraenkel 
family belonged to the upper stratum of Jewish society and 
through intermarriage was connected with numerous schol- 
ars and community leaders including Avigdor *Kara, Yom Tov 
Lippmann *Heller, Jacob *Emden, and Baruch *Fraenkel Teo- 
mim. All Jews currently named Fraenkel may be descendants 
of the original Vienna family, though the exact relationship is 
no longer traceable. 

bibliography: L. Bato, in: ajr Information (July 1964), 12; 
M.M. Fraenkel-Teomim, Der goldene Tiegel der Familie Fraenkel 
(1928); Ger., Heb.); A.F. Pribram, Urkunden undAkten zur Geschichte 
derjuden in Wien, 1 (1918), index; D. Kaufmann, Die letzte Vertreibung 
der Juden aus Wien (1889), 144-8; Fraenkel, in: zggjt, 2 (1931/32), 
67-80; E.K. Frenkel, Family Tree ofR. Moshe Witzenhausen (1969); H. 
Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat, 3 (1955), index; 4 (1963), 
index; S. Stern, Der preussische Staat und die Juden (1962), index. 

FRAENKEL, ABRAHAM ADOLF (1891-1965), Israeli 
mathematician. Born in Munich, Fraenkel received a thor- 
ough education in talmudic and Jewish studies in addition 
to mathematics. He held chairs of mathematics at Marburg 
(from 1922) and Kiel (1928). From 1929 to 1931 he was visiting 

professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and accepted a 
permanent chair there in 1933. Fraenkel made important con- 
tributions to set theory. His publications are listed in Essays on 
the Foundations of Mathematics Dedicated to A.A. Fraenkel on 
His Seventieth Birthday, ed. by Y. Bar Hillel (1966). 

1762), German rabbi and commentator on the Jerusalem Tal- 
mud. Fraenkel was born in Berlin. He was descended from the 
Mirels family that originated in Vienna and was also known as 
David Mirels. He studied under his father who was a dayyan 
in Berlin and under Jacob b. Benjamin ha-Kohen ^Poppers, 
author of Shav Yaakov. After living for a time in Hamburg, in 
1737 he was appointed rabbi of Dessau, where Moses ^Men- 
delssohn was one of his pupils. In 1739-42 his father Naphtali 
and his brother Solomon undertook the printing of Maimo- 
nides' Mishneh Tor ah on his initiative. In 1743 he was ap- 
pointed chief rabbi of Berlin. Mendelssohn followed him to 
Berlin and continued to study under him (particularly Mai- 
monides* Guide of the Perplexed) and also provided for his 
material needs. In Fraenkel s letter of appointment it was ex- 
pressly stipulated that he was not to act as judge or give rulings 
in cases where members of his family, of whom there was a 
great number in Berlin, were involved. Fraenkel s jurisdiction 
extended to the districts of Brandenburg and Pomerania. 

Fraenkel s main achievement is his commentary to the 
Jerusalem Talmud which constitutes his life work. It is di- 
vided into two parts: the first part, Korban ha-Edah y follow- 
ing Rashi's commentary to the Babylonian Talmud, is a run- 
ning commentary aimed at elucidating the plain meaning of 
the text; the second part, Shirei Korban y in the manner of the 
tosafoty gives novellae and various notes to reconcile contra- 
dictions in the Gemara and correct the errors and inaccura- 
cies that had accumulated in the text. At times his explana- 
tions in this commentary differ from those in Korban ha-Edah. 
The commentary appeared in parts: part one (Dessau, 1743) 
on Moedy part two (Berlin, 1757) on Nashim y and part three 
(ibid.y 1760-62) on Nezikin. He commenced with Mo'ed be- 
cause for Zerdim there already existed the commentary of 
Elijah b. Judah Leib of Fulda published in 1710. His commen- 
tary has become one of the two standard commentaries to the 
Jerusalem Talmud. He wrote Hebrew poems following vari- 
ous events in Prussia - the end of the Silesian wars (1745) and 
the victory of Prussia in the Seven Years' War (1757) - and 
published sermons that were translated, in part by Mendels- 
sohn, into German. 

bibliography: E.L. Landshuth, Toledot Anshei ha-Shem u- 
Feullatam be-Adat Berlin (1884), 35-60; M. Kayserling, Moses Men- 
delssohn (1862), 8fi\; M. Freudenthal, A us der Heimat Mendelssohns 
(1900), 2i4ff., 229ft".; Z. Horowitz, in: Ozar ha-Hayyim y 6 (1930), 188; 
Waxman, Literature, 3 (i960 2 ) 7081!.; E. Wolbe, Geschichte derjuden 
in Berlin (1937), 177, 188, 191; L. Ginzberg, Perushim ve-Hiddushim 
ba-Yerushalmi, 1 (1941), 55 f. (Eng. introd.); J. Meisl, in: Aritn ve-Im- 
mahot be-Yisrael, 1 (1946), 103; idem (ed.), Pinkas Kehillat Berlin 

(1962), index. 

[Yehoshua Horowitz] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



FRAENKEL, ELKAN (c. 1655-1720), *Court Jew in Ansbach. 
His father became rabbi in Fuerth and Bamberg after the ex- 
pulsion of the Jews from Vienna in 1670. However Elkan an- 
tagonized the Fuerth community by advocating the interests 
of the margrave of Ansbach against the prelate of Bamberg, the 
traditional guardian of Fuerth Jewry. In 1703, Fraenkel became 
Court Jew of the margrave displacing the *Model family in this 
post, who thus became his bitter enemies. In 1704, he became 
an elder (parnas) of Fuerth and Ansbach Jewry. Although he 
could exercise magnanimity, reducing a fine of 30,000 florins 
imposed on the community for usurious practices to 20,000 
florins, he was in general despotic and aroused much opposi- 
tion. In 1712 he was denounced by Essaja (Jesse) Fraenkel, the 
spendthrift son of a Fuerth printer and a convert to Christi- 
anity, and falsely accused of 16 charges including witchcraft, 
lese-majeste, debauchery, possession of blasphemous books, 
and hindering the confiscation of Hebrew books in Fuerth 
in 1702. He was sentenced to a public whipping and life im- 
prisonment. His possessions were confiscated and his wife 
and daughter expelled. His brother zevi hirsch (d. 1723), 
appointed Landesrabbiner in 1709, was accused of witchcraft 
and use of kabbalistic devices to further Elkans career. He re- 
ceived the same sentence and died in prison. 

bibliography: S. Stern, The Court Jew (1950), 193-4, 237-8, 
244, 256-7; H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der Moderne Staat, 4 (1963), 
26-28; Ziemlich, in: mgwj, 46 (1902), 88-93; idem, in: Gedenkbuch 
D. Kaufmann (1901), 457-86; Weinberg, in: mgwj, 50 (1906), 94-99; 
S. Haenle, Geschichte der Juden im ehemaligen Fuerstenthum Ans- 
bach (1867), 72-86; D.Y. Cohen, Irgunei "Benei ha-Medinah" be-Ash- 
kenaz..., 1 (1968), 1411!.; 2 (1968), 135-7 (mimeographed dissertation; 
English summary). 

FRAENKEL, FAIWEL (Bar Tuviah; i875?-i933), Hebrew 
author and publicist. He was born in Vasilkov, in the district 
of Kiev. In 1893 he published his first article on Polish Jew- 
ish history in Ha-Meliz. He moved to Kiev, and in 1899 pub- 
lished a Hebrew translation of Pinsker s Auto emancipation, 
and a Hebrew translation and adaptation of Edward Bellamys 
Looking Backward titled Be-Od Medh Shanah ("One Hundred 
Years Hence"). An active socialist, he was forced to leave Rus- 
sia in 1901. He went to Switzerland, studied at the University 
of Berne, and received his doctorate in 1906 for his disserta- 
tion Buckle und seine Geschichtsphilosophie (Berner Studien, 
1906). He lived in Geneva (1906-12), San Remo (1912-17), 
and Nice. Bar- Tuviah published many articles in Hebrew lit- 
erary-scholarly periodicals, including Ha-Dor, Ha-Mebrer, 
Ha-Olam, He-Atid, Ha-Tekufah, Miklat, and Hadoar. They 
deal primarily with social science, Jewish studies, and social- 
ist theory. He was the first Hebrew writer to discuss social sci- 
ences in depth. In the field of Jewish studies he investigated 
the economic background of the formation of sects and par- 
ties in ancient Israel. His noteworthy contribution to this sub- 
ject is his unfinished Sefer ha-Nezirim, a two-part history of 
asceticism among the Jews (1910). His more popular articles 
took up, in the main, questions of socialism and national- 

ism, and called for the negation of the Diaspora. His selected 
writings were published in 1964 by G. Elkoshi, accompanied 
by an evaluative biographical essay (9-40) and an annotated 
bibliography (729-808). 

bibliography: Waxman, Literature, 4 (i960), 4196°. 

[Gedalyah Elkoshi] 

FRAENKEL, ISAAC SECKEL (1765-1835), Hebrew trans- 
lator and banker. Fraenkel, who was born in Parchim, Ger- 
many, was self-educated. He acquired extensive knowledge of 
religious and secular subjects and of ancient and modern lan- 
guages. In 1798 he moved to Hamburg where he engaged in 
banking and became one of the community leaders, particu- 
larly in its Reform congregation. Together with M.I. *Bresse- 
lau, Fraenkel edited a prayer book for the Hamburg Reform 
Temple (1818), which he defended in a German tract (Schutz- 
schrift des zu Hamburg erschienen en Israelitischen, 
1819) when strong opposition against the new liturgy emerged 
among the traditionalists. Fraenkels main literary project was 
the translation of the Apocrypha from Greek into Hebrew, 
entitled Ketuvim Aharonim. This work has frequently been 
reprinted since its first appearance in Leipzig (1830), its most 
recent edition appearing in Jerusalem in 1966. A bibliophile 
edition of the Books of the Maccabees, Sefer ha-Hashmona'im, 
appeared in Fraenkels translation in 1964. 

bibliography: Kitvei Menahem Mibashan ha-Hadashim 

(1937), 145-58; S. Bernfeld, Toledot ha-Reformazyon ha-Datit be-Yis- 

rael (1923), 72-73 and appendix b (excerpts from the prayer book). 

add. bibliography: M.A. Meyer, Response to Modernity (1988), 


[Getzel Kressel] 

FRAENKEL, JONAS (1879-1965), Swiss literary historian. 
Fraenkel was born in Cracow, Poland, studied at the Universi- 
ties of Vienna and Berne, and became a lecturer at the latter in 
1908 (professor extraordinary, 1921). He devoted himself to the 
investigation of German-Swiss literature and was the editor of 
the works of Gottfried Keller (17 vols., 1926-39). Other Swiss 
authors who engaged FraenkeTs attention were C.F. Meyer 
and his friend Carl Spitteler, whose unpublished works were 
bequeathed to Fraenkel for publication (Spitteler - Huldigun- 
gen und Begegnungen, 1945). In German literature Goethe and 
Heine were among his chief interests, and he published a new 
edition of Heine's poems (3 vols., 1911-13). Several of his essays 
were collected in Dichtung und Wissenschaft (1954). 

add. bibliography: J. Schutt, Germanistikm und Poli- 

tik - Schweizer Literaturwissenschaft in der Zeit des Nationalsozial- 

ismus (1996). 

[Ludwig W. Kahn] 

FRAENKEL, LEVI BEN SAUL (Schaulsohn; 1761-1815), 
apostate member of the rabbinical *Fraenkel family. In 1806 
he was nominated by the authorities assistant of the *Breslau 
bet din and Oberlandesrabbiner for Silesia (excluding Breslau), 
despite local objections. A year later he left the city, address- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


ing an open letter to the community in which he acclaimed 
the French *Sanhedrin, advocated the unification of all reli- 
gions, and expressed messianic hopes centered around ^Na- 
poleon. His letter caused consternation. In the same year in 
Paris he embraced Catholicism and thereafter wandered 
throughout Europe, until his death in extreme poverty and 
neglect in a Jewish hospital in Frankfurt. He wrote a few mys- 
tical works. 

bibliography: M. Brann, in: Jubelschrift ... H. Graetz (1887), 
266-76; A. Freimann, in: zhb, 4 (1900), 159. add. bibliography: 

Biographisches Handbuch der Rabbiner, 1 (2004), 323. 

FRAENKEL, LOUIS (1851-1911), Swedish financier. Born 
in Germany, Fraenkel moved to Stockholm in 1874, where in 
1880 he established a successful banking firm. In 1893 he be- 
came executive manager of the Stockholm Handelsbank (now 
Svenska Handelsbanken), which he developed into one of the 
largest financial institutions in the country. Fraenkel s activity 
was characterized by the personal manner in which he con- 
trolled his bank at a time when bureaucratic methods were 
becoming increasingly prevalent. 

bibliography: Svenska man och kvinnor, 2 (1944). 

[Hugo Mauritz Valentin] 

FRAENKEL, OSMOND K. (1888-1983), U.S. constitutional 
lawyer. Fraenkel was the general counsel to the American 
Civil Liberties Union from 1955. He argued cases before the 
U.S. Supreme Court, seeking protection for political and reli- 
gious groups, aliens, individuals holding dissident opinions, or 
persons convicted on the basis of improperly obtained confes- 
sions. He assisted in the Scottsboro case in the Alabama and 
Supreme Court hearings. In 1931 he wrote The Sacco-Vanzetti 
Case y arguing the innocence of the accused and the unfair- 
ness of the legal proceedings. He was the author of books on 
civil liberties, including The Supreme Court and Civil Liber- 
ties (1941, i960 6 ); Our Civil Liberties (1944); The Rights We 
Have (1971); and Georgetown Law Journal: Media and the First 
Amendment in a Free Society (1973). 

EZEKIEL FEIWEL (1760-1828), rabbi in Poland and Mora- 
via. Frankel-Teomim studied under Liber Korngold of Cra- 
cow, known as "Liber Harif," and *David Tevele of Lissa. On 
the death in 1778 of Naphtali Herz Margolies, the av bet din 
of Wisznice, he was appointed his successor and served in 
this office until 1802. In that year he was appointed rabbi of 
Leipnik (Moravia), remaining there until his death. In Leipnik 
he founded a yeshivah which became renowned. Among his 
pupils were Ezekiel Panet, author of the Mareh Yehezkel, and 
Hayyim *Halberstamm, later his son-in-law (resp. Ateret 
Hakhamim y eh no. 9). During Fraenkel-Teomims younger 
years *Hasidism began to spread in Poland and Galicia; at 
first he belonged to the circle of its opponents but later his 
opposition gradually diminished. Among the outstanding 

scholars with whom he was in contact may be mentioned 
Moses *Sofer (ibid. y hm nos. 12-15), with whom he was on 
intimate terms, David *Deutsch (ibid. y oh nos. 2,3), Ephraim 
Zalman *Margolioth (ibid., eh no. 21), and Mordecai *Banet 
of Nikolsburg. 

Fraenkel-Teomim saw his main task in the strengthen- 
ing of his yeshivah and the education of many pupils. He did 
not devote himself to the same extent to the writing of books, 
for fear of dissipating his time. Only individual pamphlets by 
him are extant. These were written by his pupils, who noted 
down his novellae and homilies. Among the first to collect 
his teachings and publish them were his son Joshua Hoe- 
schel and Hayyim Halberstamm. They published his Barukh 
Tdam (1841), a selection of his novellae to which Halberstamm 
added glosses. Fraenkel is often referred to by the name of this 
book. Among his other works may be mentioned: (1) Ateret 
Hakhamim (1866) in two parts: pt. 1, responsa on the four 
sections of the Shulhan Arukh; pt. 2, novellae and *pilpulim 
on talmudic themes; (2) Margenita de-Rav (1883; 2 nd ed. with 
additions, 1957), a work on aggadah arranged in the order of 
the weekly scriptural readings, published by Menahem Eliezer 
Mahler from a manuscript in the possession of the authors 
grandchildren; (3) Barukh she-Amar (1905, 1966 2 ), novellae 
on many tractates and talmudic themes. 

Fraenkel-Teomim left glosses written in the margin of 
his books of the rishonim and aharonim y and there is a list of 
53 such works. His numerous glosses on the Shulhan Arukh 
(oh, 1836; hm, i860; yd, 1865; eh, 1904) under the title Imrei 
Barukh are highly regarded. His glosses to the Babylonian 
Talmud were published first in the Lemberg edition of the 
Talmud of 1862 and thereafter in all later editions; to the Jeru- 
salem Talmud in Vilna in 1922; and to the Mishnah under the 
name Mishnot Rav in Lemberg in 1862. His Derushei Barukh 
Tdam (edited by B.S. Schneersohn and E. Heilprin, 1963) con- 
tains homilies for the festivals, and eulogies. Other works re- 
main in manuscript. 

His responsa and pilpulim on talmudic themes are based 
on the rishonim y and penetrating deeply into their meaning 
he arrives at the halakhah. Although he indulged in pilpul y 
a simple answer was more important to him than casuistic 
exercises. Even though he showed himself in his responsa to 
be a great authority he mentions in various places that he 
"fears to give directives" (Ateret Hakhamim y eh 18, 22). In 
certain cases he did not wish to rely on his own opinion and 
sought the consent of other outstanding scholars for his view, 
stressing: "I am afraid to give expression to new ideas" (ibid. y 
yd 2:24). 

bibliography: S.M. Chones, Toledot ha-Posekim (1910), 123; 

JA. Kammelhar, DorDeah (1935), 143-9; J- Eibeschuetz, Ohel Barukh 

(1933); J.L. Maimon, in: Sinai y 44 (1959), 117-26, 204-12, 408-19; 45 

(1959), 16-22, 97-106, 275-83; idem, Middei Hodesh be-Hodsho y 5 

(1959), 49-57; Z. Horowitz, Le-Korot ha-Kehillot be-Polanyah (1969), 

216 f.; B. Fraenkel-Teomim, Barukh she-Amar (1966 2 ), introd. 13-28 


[Josef Horovitz] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



FRAG A, city in Aragon, N.E. Spain; information concern- 
ing Jews there dates to the 13 th century. The privileges which 
the Jews enjoyed, later confirmed by Alfonso iv of Aragon 
(1327-36), include the usual definition of civil rights. The 
maximum annual tax payable by the community was speci- 
fied. The Jews were given the right to elect their representa- 
tives, who were granted a limited jurisdiction and the right to 
impose levies for communal purposes. They were permitted 
to maintain a synagogue, cemetery, and slaughterhouse, and 
were given the right of defending themselves against attacks. 
The Jews were promised that their quarter would be protected 
and its autonomy respected. In the 1380s there were 40 Jew- 
ish families living in Fraga. During the 1391 persecutions the 
synagogue was destroyed; many Jews left the town and oth- 
ers became converted to Christianity. In 1398 Queen Maria 
ordered 36 former members of the community to return to 
Fraga within a month, since they had undertaken not to leave 
without paying their share of the communal taxes. The most 
prominent member of the Fraga community, the physician 
and poet Astruc Rimoch, embraced Christianity in 1414 as 
Franciscus de Sant Jordi. In September 1414 Ferdinand 1 or- 
dered a number of converts to pay the tax they owed before 
their conversion. By 1415 the Jewish community of Fraga had 
disappeared following the conversion of all its members. In 
1436 John 11 permitted Jews to establish a new settlement in 
Fraga and Alfonso v promised privileges to Jews who would 
settle in Fraga. We have some information on the Jews in Fraga 
in 1451 and 1457 which suggests that the community apparently 
continued to exist until the expulsion in 1492. 

The Jewish quarter was in the Collada, comprising one 
big street and several small byways leading to it. 

bibliography: Baer, Urkunden, index; Baer, Spain, index; 
Salarrullana, in: Revista de archivos, bibliotecas, museos, 40 (1919), 69, 
183, 431; Romano, in: Sefarad,i$ (1953), 75, 78. add. bibliography: 
J. Goni Gaztambide, in: Hispania Sacra, 25 (i960), 205-6. 

FRAM, DAVID (1903-1988), South African Yiddish poet. 
Born in Panevezys, Lithuania, he was a refugee with his 
parents in Russia during World War 1, and returned to Lith- 
uania in 1921. From 1923 he published poems in the Kaunas 
Yiddish press and in 1927 immigrated to South Africa, where 
he issued Lider un Poemes ("Songs and Poems," Vilna, 1931), 
nostalgic idylls of Jewish life in Lithuania, as well as South 
African poems. His later poetry dealt with South African 
themes, but remained rooted in Lithuanian Jewish tradition: 
"All the major actors on the South African stage step boldly 
forward in Frams verse" (Sherman). His writings are marked 
by a deep compassion for the underdog and a sensitive lyri- 
cal quality. Outstanding examples are two long 1947 poems, 
"Efsher" ("Perhaps"), largely autobiographical, and "Dos Let- 
ste Kapitl" ("The Last Chapter"), an elegy on his destroyed 
Lithuanian homeland. Between the wars, Fram was active in 
Yiddish cultural circles in Johannesburg, a contributor to all 
Yiddish publications in South Africa, and wrote the libretti 
for two Yiddish operettas staged in Johannesburg. His later 

verse is anthologized in A Shvalb oyfn Dakh ("A Swallow on 
the Roof," 1984). 

bibliography: lnyl,7 (1968), 439. add. bibliography: 
J. Sherman, in: The Mendele Review (Jan. 14, 2004). 

[Gustav Saron and Louis Hotz / Leonard Prager (2 nd ed.)] 

FRANCE (Heb. n;S3*n_D and DDI^), country in Western Eu- 
rope. This entry is arranged according to the following out- 

From the First Settlements unil the Revolution 






The Modern Period 



















Holocaust Period 


Early Postwar Period 


Later Developments 






Relations with Israel 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


This article deals with the history of the Jews living within the 
territory corresponding to present-day France; the territories 
beyond the present frontiers (more particularly those of the 
north and southwest) which were subjected to the authority 
of the kings of France for short periods are not considered 
here. The provinces neighboring on the kingdom of France 
or enclosed within it before their incorporation within the 
kingdom (in particular ""Brittany, Normandy, "Anjou, ^Cham- 
pagne, "Xorraine, "Alsace, *Franche-Comte, *Burgundy, *Sa- 
voy, *Dauphine, the county of ""Nice, "Trovence, *Comtat Ve- 
naissin, "Xanguedoc, "Auvergne, Guienne, *Poitou) are dealt 
with. Those areas which formed part of these provinces, but 
which are today beyond the borders of France, are not in- 

From the First Settlements until the Revolution 

the roman and Merovingian periods. The earliest evi- 
dence of a Jewish presence in France concerns an isolated indi- 
vidual, perhaps accompanied by a few servants; he was "Arche- 
laus, the ethnarch of Judea, who was banished by Augustus 
in the year 6 c.e. to *Vienne (in the present department of 
Isere), where he died in 16 c.e. Similarly, his younger brother 
Herod *Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, was exiled to 
"Xyons (if not to a place also called Lugdunum on the French 
side of the Pyrenees) by Caligula in 39. A story taken as legend 
(intended to explain the origin of the prayer Ve-Hu Rahum) 
states that after the conquest of Jerusalem, the Romans filled 
three ships with Jewish captives, which arrived in ^Bordeaux, 
"Aries, and Lyons. Recent archaeological findings tend to find 
a basis for this legend. Objects identified as Jewish because of 
the menorah portrayed on them have been discovered around 
Aries (first, fourth, and early fifth centuries), and in Bordeaux 
and the neighboring region (third and early fourth centuries). 
Written sources, previously treated with some reserve, affirm 
that during the Roman period Jews had been present in ""Metz 
(mid-fourth century), ""Poitiers (late fourth century), "Avignon 
(late fourth century), and Aries (mid-fifth century). 

Evidence is abundant from 465 onward. There were then 
Jews in Vannes (Brittany), a few years later in ^Clermont- 
Ferrand and *Narbonne, in "Agde in 506, in ^Valence in 524, 
and in ^Orleans in 533. After Clovis 1 (481-511), founder of 
the Merovingian dynasty, became converted to Catholicism 
(496), the Christian population increasingly adopted Catho- 
lic doctrine. From 574 there were attempts to compel the Jews 
to accept the prevailing faith. In 576 Bishop "Avitus of Cler- 
mont-Ferrand offered the Jews of his town (who numbered 
over 500) the alternative of baptism or expulsion. His exam- 
ple was followed in 582 by Chilperic 1, king of Neustria (the 
western part of the Frankish kingdom). In "Marseilles, where 
Jews from both these areas found refuge, there was also an at- 
tempt at forced conversion. Little information is available on a 
similar attempt made by Dagobert 1 between 631 and 639; had 
this been successful, the Jews would have been excluded from 
almost the whole of present-day France. However, this seems 
to have been far from the case; though documents make no 

mention of Jews for some time, there is a similar lack of infor- 
mation about other social and ethnic groups. Little is known 
of the Jews of Septimania (in southwest Gaul, then a Spanish 
province). The Jews there were spared the forced conversions 
and subsequent violent persecutions which befell their core- 
ligionists in Visigothic *Spain. 

During this period the number of Jews in France in- 
creased rapidly, initially through immigration, first from It- 
aly and the eastern part of the Roman Empire and then from 
Spain, especially after Sisebuts persecutions, which began in 
612. However, the increase in numbers was also due to Jewish 
proselytism, which found adherents mostly among the poor- 
est classes and in particular among slaves. 

At that time the Jews were mainly engaged in commerce, 
but there were already physicians and even sailors. In the ab- 
sence of written Jewish sources, archaeological evidence once 
more provides information on the France of this early period. 
On a seal from Avignon (fourth century) the menorah is re- 
produced, although only with five branches. The same motif 
appears on the inscription of Narbonne (687/8), which also 
points to a scanty knowledge of Hebrew at the time; the whole 
text is in Latin with the exception of three words, Shalom al 
Yisrael, which are incorrectly spelled. Nothing at all is known 
of the internal organization of these Jewish groups, except for 
the presence of synagogues (*Paris 582; Orleans before 585), 
but it is known that there were contacts between them. The 
Marseilles community maintained relations with those of 
Clermont-Ferrand and Paris and even, beyond the borders, 
with that of Rome. 

In spite of the attempts at forced conversion, relations 
between the Jewish and Christian populations seem to have 
been free, a state of affairs demonstrated by the repeated ef- 
forts of the church authorities to prohibit these relations. The 
main prohibition, frequently repeated, was on Jews and Chris- 
tians taking meals together (Vannes, 465; Agde, 506; Epone, 
517; etc.); another, aimed at separating the population further, 
forbade the Jews to go out-of-doors during the Easter holi- 
days (Orleans, 538; Macon, 583; etc.); and finally - a measure 
designed to prevent Jewish proselytism - possession of not 
only Christian but also pagan slaves by the Jews was restricted 
or forbidden (Orleans, 541: Clichy, 626 or 627; etc.). Further, 
though at first sight negative, proof of good relations between 
Christians and Jews is provided by the frequent religious ^dis- 
putations, discussions which were characterized by the great 
freedom in argument accorded to the Jews (particularly be- 
tween King Chilperic 1 (561-84) and his Jewish purveyor 
*Priscus, 581). Another positive testimony - though this may 
be largely a pious invention - is to be found in the participa- 
tion of the Jews in the obsequies of church dignitaries (Aries, 
459 and 543; Clermont-Ferrand, 554). 


crusade. The reign of the Carolingians was the most favor- 
able period for the Jews in the kingdom of France. "Agobards 
attempted forced conversion of Jewish children in Lyons and 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 






■ Garges-les-Gonesse 

Le Blanc Mesnil 

M r ! ^^m^^^ ■ Le Blanc Mesnil 

^r „ ^rl ■ Saint-Denis T . ,-, 

Villeneuve-la-Garennem BL aCourneuve # Livry-Gargan 

^TAsnieres ■ ■ Aubervilliers *Clichy- sous-Bo is 

^NanterreV T T .. "Bondy 

a ■ Les Lilas 

„* rhntnu ■ NeuiUy-sur-Seine • m n n • c/ie//es 

et-Chatou 7 *Rosny-sous-Bois 

PARIS MMontreuil-sous-Bois 

■ #_ Vincennes ■ •FoMtewflv-sous-Bow 

Le Vesinet-Chatou 

La Celle-Saint-Cloud 




Vincennes ■ 9Fontenay-sous-Bois 

Boulogne-Billancourt • Nogent-sur-Marne 

Montrouge ■ L^Kremlin-Bicetre m Champigny-sur-Marne 


■ *Ivry-sur-Seine 

• H ^\ MCreteil-Montmely 

Villejuif Vitry-sur-Seine 







Lille ■ V. 






Le Havre 



Pontoise Mea 




I Rheims 
■ Chateau-Thierry 








ChartresB EtampesH 


Bar le-Duc m 
J! Dampierre-de-LAube Luneville 

Toul ■ Nancy 

Le Mans 






i [aguenau [_ • 

Strasbourg ■/ 


Riquewihr | / 
Colmar| i 

Rouffach | 
Mulhousep J / . •* 



























Medieval Community 
Contemporary Community (1970) 
• 500-1,000 

■ 1,000-8,000 

T 10,000-25,000 

$ 70,000 

^ 300,000 

Massy Community founded after 1960 

I Pamiers m 

I Foix 



I Orange 

BedarridesfJ Car P entras 
UzesB riilylonteux m . 

u ■ Avisnon ■rorcalquiers 

Beaucaire^™ A j:& 1]Uli 

PosquieresH ■ 

i „„~i Nimes 
LuneU.™ . 7|A r |, 

Sain 1 ' 1 ■ Arles 


arascon ICadenet Nice^ m Monte-Carlo 

Pertuis Draguignan mAntibes-Juan-les-Pins 












Main Jewish communities in France in the Middle Ages and in the latter 20 th century. Insert shows detail of region surrounding Paris. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


the district around 820 brought the bishop into disfavor with 
Louis the Pious (814-840). 

The important Jewish settlement in the Rhone Valley, 
which had been in existence during the Roman and Merovin- 
gian periods, increased and expanded through the Saone Val- 
ley. Continued immigration from Italy and Spain was a source 
of demographic growth, as was proselytism affecting also the 
higher social classes; the best-known example is *Bodo, dea- 
con of Louis the Pious, who converted to Judaism in Muslim 
Spain. From the second half of the tenth century and, at the 
latest, from the second half of the 11 th century, there was also 
a trend toward migration to England. 

The most intensive economic activity of the Jews of 
France, especially in the commercial field, belongs to this pe- 
riod. Some were accredited purveyors to the imperial court 
and others administered the affairs of Catholic religious in- 
stitutions. Privileges granted to the Jews by the Carolingian 
emperors became the model for those coveted by other mer- 
chants. Their great concentration in agriculture and especially 
viticulture enabled them practically to monopolize the market; 
even the wine for Mass was bought from Jews. The few cases of 
moneylending known from this period were in fact connected 
with this agricultural activity; they were related to deferred 
purchases of agricultural estates intended to round off exist- 
ing Jewish estates. In view of the wealth of general information 
available on the Jews of this period, the paucity of evidence 
concerning physicians suggests that there was a great decrease 
of interest in this profession. In the public services, Jews were 
employed both in the subordinate position of tax collector and 
in the most respected office of imperial ambassador (*Isaac 
for ^Charlemagne; Judah for Charles the Bald). 

The personal privileges and ordinances granted by the 
Carolingians assured the Jews complete judicial equality. 
Moreover, any attempt to entice away their pagan slaves by 
converting them to Catholicism was penalized; their right to 
employ salaried Christian personnel was explicitly guaranteed; 
any offense against their persons or property was punishable 
by enormous fines. Even more, the Jews enjoyed a preferential 
status, because they were not subjected to the ordeals ("judg- 
ments of God") which normally formed part of the judicial 
process. An imperial official, the magister Judaeorum, who 
ranked among the missi dominici, supervised the meticulous 
enforcement of all these privileges. 

The activities of the church councils had little effect dur- 
ing this period. The Councils of Meaux and Paris (845-6) 
sought to legislate on the subject of the Jews, and a series of 
hostile canons concerning them were drawn up; these were 
in fact a kind of canonical collection and the work of *Amulo, 
Agobards successor to the see of Lyons, and the deacon *Flo- 
rus of Lyons, faithful secretary of both bishops. However, 
Charles the Bald (840-77) refused to ratify these canons. An- 
other center of intensive Jewish settlement and powerful anti- 
Jewish reaction was *Chartres, where at the beginning of the 
11 th century, Bishop *Fulbert delivered a series of sermons to 

refute the Jewish assertion that, since there might yet be Jewish 
kings in distant lands, the Messiah had not yet come. Toward 
the close of the same century, *Ivo of Chartres inserted a series 
of violently anti- Jewish texts in his canonical collection. All of 
these, however, precisely by their concern to combat Jewish 
influences on the Christian faithful, emphasize the cordiality 
of the relations prevailing between Jews and Christians. 

The so-called "Carolingian Renaissance" in the intel- 
lectual sphere had no counterpart on the Jewish scene, but 
strangely enough, subsequent tradition also attributes the 
impetus of Jewish learning in the West to Charlemagne 
(768-814). Just as he actually brought scholarly Irish monks 
to France, he is said to have brought the Jewish scholar Machir 
from Babylon. What is known of Hebrew works circulating 
in France derives from the testimony of Agobard, but, being 
a polemist, he mentions only those works he criticizes: a very 
ancient version of *Toledot Yeshu y a parody of the Gospels, 
and *Shi'ur Komah, a mystic work. The real upsurge of Jewish 
learning in France began during the 11 th century. In the middle 
of the century, Joseph b. Samuel *Bonfils (Tov Elem) was ac- 
tive in Limoges, Moses ha-Darshan in Narbonne, and, a little 
later, *Rashi in Troyes. From the outset, the scholars* works 
comprised the principal fields of Jewish learning: liturgic po- 
etry, biblical and talmudic commentaries, rabbinic decisions, 
grammar, and philology. The glory of Limoges and central 
France in general was shortlived, but Narbonne and Troyes 
heralded the great schools of Jewish scholars in both the ex- 
treme south and the extreme north of the country. The radi- 
cal change in the situation resulted from the general upheaval 
which swept across the Christian West from the beginning of 
the 11 th century and paved the way for the Crusades. Two lo- 
cal persecutions, in *Limoges at the end of the tenth and in 
the early 11 th century, may be connected with the general per- 
secution which raged through France from 1007 for at least 
five years. Launched by the clergy, it was rapidly supported 
by King Robert 11 the Pious (996-1031), then propagated by 
the general Christian population. The pretext for the riots was 
the accusation that the Jews of Orleans had joined in a plot 
against Christians with Sultan al-Hakim, who had indeed de- 
stroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Thus 
the object of universal hatred, the Jews of France were then, 
if the sources are correct, either expelled from the towns, put 
to the sword, drowned in the rivers, or put to death in some 
other fashion, the only exceptions being those who accepted 
baptism. When one of the Jewish notables of France, Jacob 
b. Jekuthiel, intervened with Pope John xvin (1004-09), the 
latter sent a legate to France to put a stop to the persecutions. 
Those Jews who had been forced to accept baptism immedi- 
ately returned to Judaism. A similar situation arose in 1063: 
the "Spanish crusaders," who had set out to fight the Muslims, 
began by persecuting the Jews of southern France. On this oc- 
casion, however, they met with the opposition of the princes 
and the bishops, who were congratulated by Pope ^Alexan- 
der 11 for their stand. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



SION from provence (1096-1501). The First Crusade 
(1096-99) had little immediate effect on the situation of the 
Jews, but it was in France that the first murderous persecu- 
tions occurred, accompanied by forced conversions in *Rouen 
and Metz (but not in southern France, as some scholars have 
asserted recently). Although the brunt of the brutalities was 
borne by the Jews of Germany, it was in Rouen that the cru- 
saders justified their persecutions of the Jews: "If it is our de- 
sire [so they said] to attack the enemies of God after having 
covered lengthy distances toward the Orient while before our 
eyes we have the Jews, a nation whose enmity to God is un- 
equaled, we will then follow a path which leads us backward." 
The first written legal act of a king of France which is extant 
is *Louis vii s decree of 1144 in which he banished from his 
kingdom those Jews who had been converted to Christian- 
ity and later returned to Judaism, that is those who - from 
the Christian point of view - had "relapsed into heresy." The 
Second Crusade (1147-49) gave rise to a controversy between 
^Bernard of Clairvaux and *Peter of Cluny on the question 
of the Jews; although they were spared the confiscation of all 
their belongings, as the abbot of Cluny had recommended in 
order to finance this expedition, they were nevertheless com- 
pelled to make a considerable financial contribution. 

Frances first *blood libel occurred in *Blois in 1171, when 
31 Jews - men, women, and children - were burned at the 
stake after a parody of a trial, and in spite of the fact that 
not even a body was produced as proof of the murder. A 
series of similar accusations followed in Loches, *Ponto- 
ise, Joinville, and Epernay. Although Louis vn declared to 
the leaders of the Jewish community of Paris when they ap- 
pealed to him that he regarded the ritual murder accusation as 
pure invention and promised to prevent the renewed out- 
breaks of similar persecutions, popular rumors continued 
to indict the Jews. According to his biographer, King *Philip 
Augustus (1180-1223), when only six years old, learned from 
his playmates that the Jews were in the habit of killing Chris- 
tian children. The hatred thus nurtured prevailed, and he 
acted upon it soon after his accession to the throne. In 1181 
he had all the wealthy Jews of Paris thrown into prison and 
freed them only in return for a huge ransom. In the following 
year (1182) he decreed their expulsion from the kingdom and 
the confiscation of their real estate. If the number of Jews af- 
fected by this measure was comparatively small, this was the 
result of the small size of the actual kingdom of France and 
the lack of royal authority over the nobles of the neighboring 
provinces, where the exiles found immediate refuge. Such a 
haven, however, was not always safe from the tenacious ha- 
tred of the king of France. Thus, in 1190, he pursued the Jews 
in Champagne (in *Bray-sur-Seine or in Brie-Comte-Rob- 
ert) and exterminated a whole community which had the 
temerity to condemn one of his subjects to death for assas- 
sinating a Jew. 

Driven by financial considerations, Philip Augustus au- 
thorized the return of the Jews to his kingdom in 1198, extort- 

ing from them what profit he could. Possibly another concern 
was also involved: from 1182 Philip Augustus had considerably 
expanded his territory. In all the lands incorporated within 
the kingdom, he found Jews living among a population which 
raised no objection to their presence, and he might have se- 
riously angered the populace by expelling the Jews. Since he 
tolerated the Jews in the newly acquired parts of his kingdom, 
their banishment from its heart was no longer justified. Two 
months after their readmission, the king reached an agreement 
with Thibaut 11, count of Champagne, on the division of their 
respective rights over the Jews living in their territories. 

The Third Crusade (1189-92), which had such grave 
consequences for the Jews of England, did not affect those of 
France, but the crusade against the *Albigenses in southern 
France also spelled ruin to the Jewish communities. That of 
*Beziers, in particular, mourned many victims when the town 
was taken in 1209; the survivors crossed the Pyrenees and re- 
established their community in * Gerona. 

During the reign of *Louis ix (1226-70), severe anti-Jew- 
ish persecutions took place in 1236 in the western provinces, 
in Brittany, Anjou, and Poitou, which were not subject to the 
direct authority of the monarch. In 1240 Duke Jean le Roux 
expelled the Jews from Brittany. During the same year the fa- 
mous disputation on the Talmud took place in Paris. Prop- 
erly speaking, it was a trial of the Talmud inspired by a bull 
issued by ^Gregory ix in 1239. The verdict had already been 
given in advance: the Talmud was to be destroyed by fire, a 
sentence which was carried out in 1242. In Dauphine, which 
was still independent of the kingdom, ten Jews were burned at 
the stake in *Valreas in 1247 following a blood libel. Anti-Jew- 
ish agitation which resulted in the imprisonment of Jews and 
the confiscation of their belongings spread to several places in 
Dauphine. There is no reason to believe that Louis ix had in- 
tended to expel the Jews or that he had even issued an order to 
this effect. Yet his brother, *Alphonse of Poitiers, to whom the 
king had ceded the government of several provinces, ordered 
the expulsion of the Jews from Poitou in July 1249. However, 
the order was not rigorously applied or it took effect for a brief 
period only. Nevertheless, the territory governed by Alphonse 
was the scene of the first local expulsion: from Moissac in 1271. 
Louis ix and Alphonse of Poitiers rivaled one another in their 
brutal methods of extorting money from the Jews. The king, 
ostentatiously scrupulous of benefiting from money earned 
through the sin of usury, dedicated it to the financing of the 
Crusade. With the same pious motive Alphonse of Poitiers 
incarcerated all the Jews of his provinces so that he could lay 
his hands on their possessions with greater ease. * Philip in 
the Bold, who reigned from 1270, was responsible for a wide- 
spread migration of the Jews when he forbade them, in 1283, 
to live in the small rural localities. The accession of *Philip iv 
the Fair (1285) was ushered in by the massacre of *Troyes, once 
more following on a blood libel; several notables of the com- 
munity were condemned and burned at the stake in 1288. In 
1289, first *Gascony (which was an English possession) and 
then Anjou (governed by the brother of the king of France) 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


expelled the Jews. In 1291, Philip the Fair hastily published an 
ordinance prohibiting the Jews expelled from Gascony and 
England from settling in France. 

Although Philip the Fair denied the clergy in general 
(1288) and the inquisitors in particular (1302) any judicial 
rights over the Jews, this was not the better to protect them 
but merely because he objected to sharing his authority in any 
way. It was therefore probably royal judges who tried the first 
*host desecration cases brought against several Jews of Paris 
in 1290. In order to guarantee the greatest financial gain from 
the expulsion order of 1306, Philip the Fair issued oral instruc- 
tions only. After the imprisonment of all the Jews (July 22, 
1306) and the seizure of their belongings, numerous written 
ordinances were issued by the royal chancellery in order to se- 
cure for the king, if possible, the sum total of the spoils. Over 
this very question of the Jews, the resurgent royal authority 
was revealed; indeed, the expulsion order won the successive 
support of an ever-growing number of lords until its provi- 
sions even spread to the territories of those lords who had not 
been consulted. As well as in the provinces which still evaded 
royal authority - Lorraine, Alsace, Franche-Comte, Savoy, 
Dauphine, Provence with the principality of *Orange and 
Comtat Venaissin, the counties of *Roussillon and Cerdagne 
(Cerdaiia) - the Jews banished from France found asylum in 
the present territories of Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain. 
Philip the Fair granted safe-conducts to a number of Jews to 
enable them to stay in his kingdom or return to it; they were 
to assist him in collecting the debts which had been seized. In 
1311 they too were "permanently" expelled. Although the ex- 
pulsion itself encountered scarcely any objections on the part 
of the lords, this was far from the case when the king tried to 
seize all the booty for himself: bitter disagreements often fol- 
lowed, as in Montpellier. 

The recovery of all the spoils was still far from complete 
when *Louis x the Quarreler (1314-16), son and successor of 
Philip the Fair, considered allowing the Jews to return (May 17, 
1315), which actually came into effect before July 28, 1315. A 
decree of that date, repudiating the "evil advisers" who had 
incited his father to expel the Jews and justifying Louis' deci- 
sion to recall them because of the "general clamor of the peo- 
ple," defined the conditions of Jewish residence for a 12 -year 
period. Under Philip v the Tall (1316-22) anti-Jewish massa- 
cres were perpetrated by the *Pastoureaux in 1320, and the 
Jews of *Toulouse and areas to the west of the town suffered 
heavily. There the king, his officers, and the church authori- 
ties combined in efforts to suppress the movement, principally 
because it was a serious threat to the social order. Popular ma- 
nia against lepers spread to the Jews in several places in 1321, 
particularly in * Tours, * Chinon, and Bourges (or elsewhere in 
Berry). Without even a legal pretext, Jews were put to death in 
all these places, 160 in Chinon alone. As well as the confisca- 
tion of the belongings of the Jews thus "brought to justice," an 
immense fine was imposed on the whole of French Jewry. The 
expulsion - no text of the decree ordaining it remains - took 
place between April 7 and Aug. 27, 1322. 

In 1338 and 1347 over 25 Jewish communities of Alsace 
were the victims of persecutions which were limited to the 
eastern regions. On the other hand, the massacres connected 
with the *Black Death (1348 and 1349), struck Jewish commu- 
nities throughout the eastern and southeastern regions, nota- 
bly in Provence, Savoy, Dauphine, Franche-Comte, and Alsace. 
It was only due to the intervention of the pope that the Jews of 
Avignon and Comtat Venaissin were spared a similar fate. In 
Franche-Comte, after they had been accused of spreading the 
plague, the Jews were imprisoned for long periods and their 
possessions confiscated; they were expelled in 1349, although 
they reappeared there at the latest in 1355. In that same year 
Dauphine was practically incorporated within the kingdom of 
France, yet the Jews of this province continued to enjoy their 
former freedoms and immunities. 

The crown never revealed the financial motive behind 
the re admission of the Jews so blatantly as in 1359. ^Charles v 
(1364-80), regent for his father John 11 the Good who was 
held prisoner in England, then authorized their return for 
a period of 20 years simply in order to use the taxes to en- 
able him to pay his father s ransom. Following the example of 
Louis the Quarreler, he allowed the Jews to reside in France 
for limited periods only, although in his case the residence 
periods which had been granted were more faithfully abided 
by. In 1360 John the Good (1350-64) ratified the authoriza- 
tion granted by his son. 

When Charles v succeeded to the throne, he confirmed, 
in May 1364, the 20 years which were initially granted and 
prolonged the period by six years, then by a further ten years 
in October 1374. When *Charles vi (1380-1422) took over the 
government himself, in February 1388 and March 1389, he rati- 
fied the prolongations granted by Charles v; he did not ratify 
either the five or the six years accorded by Louis of Anjou, 
acting as regent for him (1380-88). Thus, after the decree of 
Sept. 17, 1394, stipulating that thenceforward the Jews would 
no longer be tolerated in the kingdom of France, the depar- 
ture of the Jews became effective in 1395 (between January 15 
and March 18), 36 years after the first concession for a new 
residence period granted by Charles v. Properly speaking, this 
was not actually an expulsion but rather a refusal to renew the 
right of residence. However, obviously it resulted in the de- 
parture of the Jews from the kingdom of France. 

From 1380 the Jews were the victims of bloody persecu- 
tions, which followed in the wake of popular risings in several 
towns of the kingdom, especially in Paris and Nantes. There 
was a similar occurrence in 1382. Although the king exempted 
the Jews from returning the pawns which had been stolen 
from them on this occasion, he also granted a hasty pardon 
to the rioters. In 1389 the king allowed the town of Eyrie u the 
right of deciding for itself whether it would admit the Jews or 
not; although such a prerogative was subsequently granted 
to the towns of Alsace in general, this was at that time an ex- 
ception within the kingdom. There was, however, no reason 
to regard this as a harbinger of the forthcoming generalized 
departure of the Jews. On the contrary, as late as July 15, 1394, 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



the king issued a reasonably favorable decree to the Jews of 
Languedoc. When Charles vi terminated the residence of the 
Jews in his kingdom on September 17, he claimed that there 
had been "several grave complaints and outcries" concern- 
ing "the excesses and misdemeanors which the said Jews had 
committed and they continued to act in this manner every 
day against the Christians." He added that investigations had 
confirmed that the Jews had "committed and perpetrated sev- 
eral crimes, excesses, and offenses," particularly against the 
Christian faith, but such a justification for his action does not 
seem plausible. However, on this occasion there was no finan- 
cial motive behind the expulsion, for it was not accompanied 
by confiscations. The move therefore remains inexplicable. 
This time the Jews of Franche-Comte shared the fate of their 
brothers in the kingdom, although the province did not then 
belong to the king of France. 

From the second half of the 14 th century, the voluntary 
movement of Jews from Dauphine assumed ever greater pro- 
portions. The dauphin attempted to coax them back by offer- 
ing fiscal advantages, but without success. By the early 16 th 
century no more Jews lived in Dauphine. In Savoy the situ- 
ation of the Jews deteriorated throughout the 15 th century: 
Jewish books were seized in 1417; there was a local expulsion 
from Chatillon-les-Dombes in 1429, a bloody persecution in 
1466, and a general expulsion decree in 1492. In Provence, the 
greater part of the 15 th century, especially during the reign of 
Rene I the Good (1431-80), was a favorable period for the 
Jews, aside from a few local incidents, for example in *Aix- 
en-Provence in 1430. Conditions changed from 1475 on when, 
for the first time since the Black Death, there were anti-Jew- 
ish outbreaks in several places. Between 1484 and i486 attacks 
against the Jews occurred in numerous localities (notably in 
Aix, Marseilles, and Aries). After Provence was incorporated 
in France (1481), town after town demanded the expulsion of 
the Jews until the last remaining Jews were hit by a general ex- 
pulsion order in 1498 which was completely enforced by 1501. 
There were therefore practically no Jews left within the present 
borders of France, with the exception of Alsace and Lorraine, 
Avignon, Comtat Venaissin, and the county of Nice. 


Tudela records valuable details on the southern communi- 
ties of the third quarter of the 12 th century. According to his 
figures - confirmed for Narbonne by other contemporary 
sources - in six communities there were 1,240 heads of fami- 
lies, that is more than 6,000 souls. Another document of the 
same period, the list of the martyrs of *Blois, notes there were 
about 30 families or about 150 souls in this community, which 
would have been totally unknown if it had not been for the 
tragedy which befell it. The greatest number and widest dis- 
persion of Jews in France was attained during the third quarter 
of the 13 th century. There were about 150 localities inhabited by 
Jews in Ile-de-France and Champagne, about 50 in the duchy 
of Burgundy, about 30 in Barrois - in spite of its small area - 
and many others. From 1283, as a result of the prohibition on 

residing in small places, the communities in the towns grew 
larger. The total number of Jews continued to increase, and 
some have estimated that about 100,000 Jews were affected 
by the expulsion of 1306. Migration resulting from this ban- 
ishment and the losses during the Black Death - both by the 
plague itself and in the persecutions which it sparked off - 
considerably reduced the Jewish population until the middle 
of the 14 th century. There was a slight increase from then on, 
especially after the authorization to return in 1359. However, 
after the 1394/95 expulsion from the kingdom of France and 
the subsequent expulsions from the other provinces or vol- 
untary departures due to hostile pressure combined with ever 
greater fiscal extortions, only about 25,000 Jews at the most 
remained during the 15 th century. By 1501 they numbered a 
few thousand only. If Catholic missionary activity did achieve 
some tangible results - due mostly to coercion if not outright 
violence - this was the least factor in the demographic decline 
of the Jewish community. 

From the 12 th century onward, moneylending became 
increasingly prominent as a Jewish occupation. It was par- 
ticularly pronounced - to the point of being sometimes their 
sole activity - in the places where the Jews settled at a later 
date or after the readmissions to the kingdom of France. In 
the main, these were private loans, with a multitude of credi- 
tors and a small turnover. In the east and southeast the Jews 
were principally traders in agricultural produce and live- 
stock. Throughout the south, particularly in Provence, there 
were a relatively large number of physicians who, in addition 
to practicing among Jews, were sometimes also appointed by 
the towns to take care of the Christian population. The agri- 
culture, and especially viticulture, subsisting mainly outside 
the kingdom, supplied the needs of the Jewish population 
and only exceptionally the general market. Petty public of- 
ficials, watchmen, toll-gatherers, etc., were found especially 
in the south, but rarely after the 13 th century (one of the few 
exceptions was the principality of Orange). Halfway between 
commerce and public office was the activity of broker, often 
found in Provence. 

The regulations of the Fourth *Lateran Council (1215), 
interpreted as the compulsory wearing of the Jewish *badge, 
were at first imposed in Languedoc, Normandy, and Provence 
(by councils held in 1227, 1231, and 1234); a royal decree en- 
forcing this in the kingdom of France was not promulgated 
until 1269. However, compulsory residence in a Jewish quar- 
ter dates from 1294 in the kingdom of France, although only 
from the end of the first half of the 14 th century in Provence. 
Although the French crown often sought to protect the Jews 
from Church jurisdiction - especially that of the inquisitors - 
it imposed the legal disabilities or measures of social segre- 
gation which had been first advocated by the church itself. 
Following the example of the magister Judaeorum of the Caro- 
lingian period, "guardians" of the Jews were often appointed; 
in the kingdom of France there was one for the Languedoc and 
another for the Langue d'Oil which included approximately 
the regions situated to the north of the River Loire. Their au- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


thority extended to all legal suits in which Jews were one of 
the parties. Jewish internal jurisdiction was increasingly lim- 
ited; thus in Provence even simple administrative matters in 
the synagogue were brought before the public tribunal. A spe- 
cial form of oath (see *Oath, more judaico) was laid down for 
Jews who were witnesses or parties to a trial. 

In the 13 th century Christian polemical writings increased 
considerably: in practice Judeo-Christian disputations were 
relatively free and still quite frequent. After early warnings, 
followed by the explicit church prohibition on the participa- 
tion of laymen in such discussions, they became increasingly 
rare. The Jews lost none of their sharpness in these confron- 
tations: the most outstanding examples are the Sefer ha-Me- 
kanne and the polemic treatise which goaded ^Nicholas of 
Lyra into a reply. 

The Jewish communities organized themselves with in- 
creasing efficiency. Although the earliest confirmation of in- 
ternal statutes dates from 1413 (Avignon), these were certainly 
current practice long before then. As well as these statutes - 
which regulated internal administration through elected offi- 
cials (actual power lay in the hands of the wealthiest), finan- 
cial contributions toward communal expenses, and religious 
obligations - sumptuary regulations were often laid down, 
intended to limit the ostentatious display of riches. The first 
synods (gatherings of communal representatives) are known 
from the middle of the 12 th century. At the synod of Troyes 
in 1150, the representatives of the French communities were 
joined by officials from German communities. The 1160 synod, 
also held in Troyes, convened only representatives from the 
kingdom of France, Normandy, and Poitou. Therefore it is 
evident that this was not a firmly established institution con- 
vened at regular intervals. If, as seems apparent, these syn- 
ods normally involved the attendance only of communities 
directly concerned, it is astonishing that the synod of *Saint- 
Gilles (1215) convened the representatives of the communities 
between Narbonne and Marseilles only to discuss a problem 
of the greatest importance for the whole of Jewry living in 
Christian countries: how to prevent the promulgation of the 
projected anti-Jewish canons by the Fourth Lateran Council. 
With the proliferation and increase of Jewish taxes, the civil 
authorities rapidly realized that a Jewish inter-communal 
organization covering the area under their authority served 
their interests; it became the task of this organization to assess 
and to collect all the taxes levied on the Jews. Although some 
communities tried to make use of this arrangement to reach 
a direct, and more advantageous, agreement with the authori- 
ties, when misfortune struck an isolated community, others 
often spontaneously revealed their active solidarity. Thus, at 
the time of the tragedy of Blois, the communities of Orleans 
and Paris brought relief to the persecuted. 

scholarship in the middle ages. The leading centers 
of Jewish scholarship were found in Ile-de-France (princi- 
pally Paris, then *Dreux, *Melun, Pontoise, *Corbeil, Coucy- 
le-Chateau, and Chartres) and in Champagne (led by Troyes, 

then *Dampierre-sur-Aube, *Vitry-le-Brule, *Joigny-sur- 
Yonne, Joinville, ^Chateau-Thierry, and *Ramerupt); there was 
also a concentration of centers of learning in the Loire Valley 
(Orleans, Tours, and Chinon). As well as this, there were a 
number of schools in Languedoc (headed by Narbonne, then 
Argentiere, *Beaucaire, *Beziers, Lattes, *Lunel, *Montpellier, 
*Nimes, *Posquieres, *Capestang, and ^Carcassonne) and in 
Provence (with Aries, Trinquetaille, and Marseilles, then Sa- 
lon and Aix-en-Provence). A few other provinces were also 
active, though on a much more modest scale; in the wake of 
Ile-de-France came Normandy (with *Evreux and *Falaise 
and possibly also Rouen) and Brittany (Clisson); in the wake 
of Champagne, Burgundy (with *Dijon); following Provence, 
Comtat Venaissin (with Monte ux and *Carpentras), as well as 
Orange and Avignon; and after Languedoc, Roussillon (with 
*Perpignan). Lorraine (with *Verdun, *Toul, and Metz) and 
Alsace (with ^Strasbourg and *Selestat) assured a link between 
northern France and the Rhineland. By contrast, Dauphine 
(with only Vienne), and especially Franche-Comte and Savoy, 
hardly played any part in this intellectual ferment. 

The north was principally the home of talmudic and 
biblical commentaries, anti-Christian polemics, and litur- 
gical poetry. In the south scholarly activities extended to 
grammatical, linguistic, philosophical, and scientific studies, 
and innumerable translations (mostly from Arabic, but also 
from Latin). Of particular importance were the mystic cir- 
cles which gave an impetus to the kabbalist movement. Both 
north and south produced decorated and even richly illumi- 
nated manuscripts. 


the revolution. As soon as the Jews had left the south- 
east or been converted to Christianity and thus become per- 
manently absorbed within the general population, the south- 
west witnessed the arrival of secret Jews, the *Conversos. From 
1550, these "Portuguese merchants" or "New Christians*' were 
granted letters patent by Henry 11, who authorized them to 
live in France "wherever they desired." They settled mainly in 
Bordeaux and in Saint-Esprit, near *Bayonne. They were sub- 
sequently to be found in small places nearby: *Peyrehorade, 
*Bidache, and Labastide-Clairence, and toward the north in La 
*Rochelle, Nantes, and Rouen. However, of all the Marranos 
who arrived in France from the beginning of the 16 th century, 
only a tiny minority remained faithful to Judaism. Since they 
sought to evade detection by externally practicing Catholicism 
while maintaining their Iberian language and customs, they 
were suspected in Bordeaux in 1596 of attempting to deliver 
the town into the hands of the Spaniards, and in 1625 their pos- 
sessions were confiscated as a reprisal for the confiscation of 
French belongings by the king of Spain. They were also sub- 
jected to particularly severe taxes, which rose to 100,000 livres 
in 1723 in exchange for new letters patent; for the first time 
these recognized them as Jews, although they did not grant 
them the right to practice their religion openly. The Jews of 
Comtat Venaissin had taken in some Spanish refugees on a 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



temporary basis only, as was the case with the parents of ^Jo- 
seph ha-Kohen, the author of Emek ha-Bakha y who was born 
in Avignon but lived there only during his early years. The 
communities of Comtat Venaissin were themselves threatened 
with expulsion on several occasions. These decrees were not 
finally enforced, but the Jews were nevertheless compelled to 
leave all towns in the Comtat with the exception of Avignon, 
Carpentras, *Cavaillon, and *LTsle-sur-la-Sorgue. Even there, 
the quarters assigned to them were constantly reduced in area 
so as to limit the Jewish population. 

Jews seem to have lived in Lorraine without interrup- 
tion although in small numbers only. After the French crown 
had occupied the region, progressively greater facilities were 
offered to the Jews to induce them to settle there. From three 
families in Metz in 1565, their number increased to 96 fami- 
lies in 1657. In the meantime, as a result of the Treaty of West- 
phalia (1648), the three towns and bishoprics of Metz, Toul, 
and Verdun were formally ceded to France. Although theo- 
retically the expulsion order against the Jews of the kingdom 
still remained in force - and it was even reiterated in 1615 - 
the Jews in those parts of Lorraine which had become French 
were allowed to remain. 

This was the first time since 1394 that Jews found them- 
selves legally living in the kingdom of France. However, they 
were still confined to the town, or at best to the province, in 
which they lived. Considerable areas of Alsace were also in- 
corporated within the kingdom of France by the Treaty of 
Westphalia. There also a firmly established Jewish popula- 
tion was not put in jeopardy by the new French administra- 
tion; on the contrary, it was more effectively protected than 
in the past. In 1651, Jews from Holland settled in *Charleville, 
which belonged to the Gonzaga dukes (they had already ad- 
mitted Dutch Jews for the first time from 1609 to 1633). Jews 
fleeing from the *Chmielnicki massacres in the Ukraine and 
Poland in 1648 arrived in Alsace and Lorraine. The general 
demographic decline which was a result of the Thirty Years* 
War (1618-48) explains the tolerance they encountered. Jews 
also arrived in the extreme southeast of France, where the 
duke of Savoy, to whom the county of Nice belonged, issued 
in 1648 an edict making Nice and *Villefranche de-Conflent 
free ports. Once more this was an indirect result of the Thirty 
Years* War, a search for an effective method of filling the eco- 
nomic vacuum it had created. Jews from Italy and North 
Africa immediately profited from the settlement facilities 
offered by this edict, strengthening the old Jewish commu- 
nity which had existed without interruption from the Middle 
Ages. However, Italian Jews who hoped to benefit from the 
apparently similar facilities offered in Marseilles by the edict 
of *Louis xiv in 1669 were disappointed; they were compelled 
to leave after a few years. 

From the 17 th century, the Jews of Avignon and Comtat 
Venaissin extended their commercial activity: besides fre- 
quenting the fairs and markets, mainly in Languedoc and 
Provence, they also attempted to remain in those towns and 
even to settle there. Following complaints from local mer- 

chants, the stewards of the king intervened on every occa- 
sion to remove them and restrict their presence at the fairs 
and markets as much as possible. With greater success, some 
Jews of Avignon and Comtat Venaissin - soon followed by 
Jews of Alsace - exploited the facilities granted to the "Portu- 
guese" Jews, and from the beginning of the 18 th century set- 
tled in Bordeaux. There they traded in the town or its envi- 
rons, principally in textiles and to a lesser degree in livestock 
and old clothes. 

From the beginning of the 18 th century, some Jews be- 
gan to settle in Paris, arriving not only from Alsace, Metz, and 
Lorraine, from Bordeaux, and from Avignon and Comtat Ve- 
naissin, but also from beyond the borders of France, mainly 
Germany and Holland. They were tolerated in Paris but no 
more. Even though they had benefited from most civil rights 
in their provinces of origin, they enjoyed no such privileges 
in the capital. In theory, if a Jew died in Paris his estate was 
confiscated in favor of the king and his burial had to be quasi- 
clandestine. In order to protect their rights and, initially, to 
obtain their own cemeteries, the Jews organized themselves 
into two distinct groups: southern Jews from Bordeaux, Avi- 
gnon, and Comtat Venaissin, and Ashkenazim from Alsace, 
Lorraine, and a few other places. This was an early manifes- 
tation of the split which was later evident during the struggle 
for emancipation and afterward. 

Just before the whole of Lorraine became part of France 
(1766), the request of some Jews of Lorraine to be admitted 
to the guilds gave rise to a lawsuit in which the advocate of 
Nancy, Pierre Louis de Lacretelle (1756-1824), called for their 
recognition as Frenchmen with rights equal to those of other 
citizens (1775). Although this suit was lost, nevertheless it left 
a powerful impression on the public who, from the begin- 
ning of the century, had become aware of the Jewish prob- 
lem through the pronouncements of the great thinkers of the 
century, beginning with ^Montesquieu. In 1781, Herz *Cerf- 
berr, the representative of the Jews of Alsace, had the work 
of Christian Wilhelm von *Dohm (1751-1820), Ueber die 
buergerliche Verbesserung der Juden ("On the Civic Amelio- 
ration of the Jews"), translated into French. The first concrete 
result was Louis xvi s edict, drawn up in 1783 and published 
in January 1784, abolishing the humiliating "body tax" which 
for centuries had likened the Jews to cattle. In 1785 a compe- 
tition by the Metz Societe Royale des Arts et Sciences on the 
subject "Is there any way of rendering the Jews more useful 
and happier in France?" reflected this new trend of opinion, 
while strengthening it even further. The competition was ini- 
tiated by PL. *Roederer, a member of the parle me nt of Metz, 
and the best answers were submitted by the royal librarian 
Zalkind *Hourwitz (who defined himself as a "Polish Jew"), 
the advocate Thierry, and Abbe *Gregoire. Finally, in 1788, 
the minister *Malesherbes, who had successfully headed the 
commission charged with arranging civic rights for Protes- 
tants, was entrusted by Louis xvi with a similar mission with 
regard to the Jews. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


The Modern Period 

the revolution. On the eve of the French Revolution 
some 40,000 Jews were living in France. Those of the "German 
nation" were mainly concentrated in Alsace-Lorraine or Paris, 
while the "Spanish, Portuguese, or Avignonese" Jews were 
chiefly concentrated in the south. The former who, excepting 
residents of Nancy, almost exclusively spoke or wrote in Yid- 
dish, formed the vast majority (84%) of French Jewry while the 
latter were closer to French language and culture, less obser- 
vant in religious practice, and more nearly integrated within 
local society. These various groups would no doubt have been 
fairly satisfied to obtain civic rights provided that they were 
consonant with the continuation of their internal communal 
autonomy. After much petitioning and long-drawn-out par- 
liamentary and public discussion, the Jews of France finally 
became French citizens, the Portuguese Jews on Jan. 28, 1790, 
and the Ashkenazim on Sept. 27, 1791. The law of 1791, how- 
ever, although conferring civic rights on Jews as individuals, 
was coupled with the abolition of their group privileges, i.e., 
their religious -legal autonomy. 

Later the communities in France suffered from the Reign 
of Terror (1793-94) in company with the other religious de- 
nominations. Synagogues were closed down and the com- 
munal organization abolished as a consequence of the gen- 
eral tendency to suppress all religious institutions. When the 
synagogues reopened their doors, the character of the former 
communities had already greatly changed. The opening up of 
the ghettos and the abolition of restrictions on residence en- 
couraged many Jews to leave their former areas of residence 
and to reject, either entirely or partly, the discipline imposed 
by their erstwhile community. 

measures of napoleon. This anarchy, which led to com- 
plaints by former creditors of the dissolved Jewish commu- 
nities, strengthened *Napoleon Bonaparte's determination 
to provide the Jews of France with a central organization 
supervised by the state and loyal to it, following the example 
of the arrangements he had already introduced for the other 
religions. Napoleon wished to create a Jewish "church orga- 
nization" and at the same time to "reform" the Jewish way 
of life and Judaism, toward which he had an attitude of barely 
controlled hostility. Napoleon considered that the Jews were 
a "nation within a nation," and their emancipation had not 
produced the anticipated results. The Jews would therefore 
have to be corrected and regenerated; in particular a solu- 
tion had to be found to solve the problem of usury, still a 
major Jewish occupation, especially in Alsace. With this in 
view, therefore, in 1806 he convened an assembly to serve as 
the "States General of French Judaism" (the ^Assembly of 
Jewish Notables). Its first session was held on July 26. The As- 
sembly had to reply to 12 questions put to it by the commis- 
sioners appointed by the government who were instructed 
to verify whether Jewish religious law held any principle 
contrary to the civil law. Having been informed of the delib- 
erations of the Assembly and the answers it delivered, Napo- 

leon determined on having them formulated into a type of re- 
ligious code. He decided to convoke a Grand *Sanhedrin - a 
gesture which was also within the framework of his European 
ambitions - whose religious authority could not be called 
in question. The Sanhedrin, composed of 45 rabbis and 26 
laymen, met on Feb. 9, 1807, and dispersed two months later 
on March 9, having fulfilled its role by codifying "religious" 
decisions in the spirit of the answers to the 12 questions de- 
livered by the Assembly of Notables. The Sanhedrin then 
gave way to the Notables, who continued their task with the 
intention of proposing the establishment of an organization 
of the Jewish religion and measures to control Jewish eco- 
nomic activities. 

the consistorial system. The proposed regulation was 
amended by the Conseil d'Etat and promulgated by imperial 
edict in 1808, inaugurating what is usually called the con- 
sistorial system. This provided that a ^consistory should be 
established for each department of France having a Jewish 
population of at least 2,000. Each consistory was constituted 
of a council composed of a grand rabbin, another rabbi, and 
three laymen elected by a small number of "notables." A cen- 
tral consistory composed of three grand rabbins and two lay- 
men was to have its seat in Paris. Contrary to the provisions 
governing the organizations for the other recognized reli- 
gions, expenses for religious purposes were still to be met by 
Jews. Thus, the new Jewish bodies were obliged, ipso facto, as 
inheritors, to repay the debts contracted by the former Jewish 
communities, whereas the other religions had been relieved 
of this burden. The consistorial system partially re-created the 
Jewish communities, and provided them with a means of ac- 
tion. It also constituted the recognition of Judaism as a reli- 
gion, centralizing its organization, and placing it under strict 
government control. While the consistory was empowered to 
exercise absolute and exclusive authority in Jewish affairs, it 
mainly concerned itself with the strictly religious aspects. The 
consistory was supported by the rabbinate, which according 
to law was responsible for teaching the Jewish religion and the 
decisions of the Sanhedrin, promoting obedience to the civil 
laws, preaching in synagogue, and offering prayers for the im- 
perial family. Although the authority of the rabbis was limited 
entirely to the religious sphere, it was nevertheless channeled 
into the service of the state. 

These administrative measures were accompanied by 
complementary economic regulations. A decree abrogating a 
postponement previously granted on May 30, 1806, to persons 
owing money to Jews was issued, but it also laid down a mass 
of restrictive regulations. All debts contracted with Jews were 
to be annulled or liable to be annulled, reduced, or postponed 
by legal means (1808). As a result, a large section of the Jewish 
population of France, already in difficult circumstances, was 
brought to the verge of ruin. Any Jew who wished to engage 
in trade or commerce had to obtain a license to be renewed 
annually by the prefect of the department in which he resided. 
Further measures were issued in an attempt to compel the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Jews of France to assimilate into French society by regulating 
their place of residence. Thus a Jew who had not previously 
been resident in Alsace was prohibited from settling there. A 
Jew might settle in other departments only if he exercised a 
profession regarded as useful. In order to preserve the educa- 
tional value in performing military service in company with 
their non-Jewish compatriots, Jews drafted for the army were 
prohibited from procuring substitutes. Another decree which, 
however, confirmed an existing situation, made it obliga- 
tory for Jews to adopt surnames in the presence of an official 
of the registry. The central consistory was set up on July 17, 
1808. Its three grand rabbins were the president and two vice- 
presidents of the Sanhedrin, David *Sinzheim, Joshua Ben- 
zion Segre, who died shortly afterward and was replaced by 
Emanuel *Deutz, rabbi of Coblenz, and Abraham Vita *Co- 
logna, rabbi of Mantua. After the death of Sinzheim in 1812 
and the resignation of Cologna in 1826, Deutz remained the 
only grand rabbin in the central consistory until his death in 
1842. Subsequently only one grand rabbin served for the whole 
of French Jewry. 

official recognition. The Restoration was not received 
with hostility by the Jews of France. The Napoleonic regu- 
lations, while having the merit of organizing communal af- 
fairs, had nevertheless represented a step backward in revo- 
lutionary ideals. Without major difficulties they were able to 
ensure that the Napoleonic decree determining their activi- 
ties and means of livelihood, commonly referred to by Jews 
as the decret infdme y was not renewed after the expiry of its 
ten-year time limit (1818). Soon the need for new rabbis be- 
came a matter for concern. Until the Revolution rabbis for the 
Ashkenazi communities had been trained in the yeshivah in 
Metz, in the small local yeshivot of Alsace, or otherwise drawn 
from abroad. The Sephardi communities in the south gener- 
ally recognized the authority of the Dutch or Italian Sephardi 
rabbinates. The closing of the Metz yeshivah under the Revo- 
lution had greatly curtailed the recruitment of rabbis. Thus, 
from 1820 numerous attempts were made to obtain permis- 
sion for the opening of a rabbinical school in Metz to supply 
the needs of all sectors of French Jewry. In 1829 the Ministry 
of Religions authorized the opening of a central rabbinical 
seminary in Metz. It was transferred to Paris in 1859, where it 
continues to function. Judaism was placed on the same footing 
as the other recognized religions when the chamber of peers 
passed a law making the Treasury responsible for paying the 
salaries of ministers of the Jewish religion (from Jan. 1, 1831). 
Thus almost the last sign of anti-Jewish discriminatory legis- 
lation in France disappeared. 

assimilation. These political successes did not conceal 
the profound crisis through which French Jewry was pass- 
ing. Many Jews born after the grant of emancipation were un- 
prepared for the new world they were now facing. A wave of 
conversions followed, in which members of the most firmly 
established families left Judaism. Deutzs own son, notori- 

ous for his role in the arrest of the duchess of Berry, and his 
son-in-law David *Drach, who had pursued rabbinical stud- 
ies and directed the Jewish school in Paris, both embraced 
Christianity, the latter even taking orders. The eldest son of 
the president of the Bas-Rhin Consistory, Marie-Theodore 
*Ratisbonne, became converted in 1826. He subsequently took 
orders and in celebration of the conversion of his youngest 
brother founded the order of Notre Dame de Sion to be de- 
voted to missionary work among the Jews. The brother, who 
was an active member of the order, later built a monastery in 
Jerusalem. Although the lower ranks of the Jewish population 
were hardly affected by these conversions, such cases were nu- 
merous among their leaders. 

The disappearance of the generation which had known 
the Revolution and taken part in the work of the Sanhedrin, 
coupled with the new spirit of liberal democracy, and the 
pressure in the new communities by arrivals from the rural 
areas of Alsace and Lorraine now necessitated a reform of the 
consistorial system. By an order in council of May 25, 1844, 
French Jewry continued to be directed by the central consis- 
tory, which was henceforth composed of the grand rabbin and 
a lay member from each departmental consistory. The elec- 
toral college was enlarged in 1844 and 1848, when every Jewish 
male aged over 25 obtained the right to take part in the elec- 
tions of the departmental consistories. The Paris consistory 
finally obtained an increase in the number of its representa- 
tives on the central consistory because it had a large popula- 
tion under its jurisdiction. This system continued, apart from 
some minor modifications, until 1905, with the separation of 
church and state (see below). 

abolition of the "jewish oath". The final obstacle to 
complete equality for Jewish citizens was removed with the 
abolition of the humiliating oath more judaico. The various 
courts that had been called upon to decide whether it was nec- 
essary for Jews to take the oath in that form had rendered con- 
flicting decisions. It was only on the advice given to the rabbis 
by Adolphe *Cremieux, who became a member of the central 
consistory in 1831, to refuse to take the oath in this form that 
some progress was made. The Supreme Court of Appeal de- 
cided on its abolition in 1846. In the same period the debts of 
the former Jewish communities were finally settled by partial 
repayments effected by the successor communities. 

welfare and education. While French Jewry was con- 
cerned with defense of its rights and its religious organiza- 
tion, it also promoted charitable and educational activities. 
The local charitable committees were generally offshoots of 
the traditional Jewish mutual aid societies or of the hevrot (see 
*hevrah), which did not surrender their independence without 
hesitation or declared hostility. In the educational sphere, the 
first real development took place under the Restoration with 
the opening of Jewish primary schools. From 1818 schools were 
opened in Metz, Strasbourg, and Colmar. A boys' school had 
been functioning in Bordeaux from 1817 and a girls' school 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 


from 1831. In Paris the first Jewish boys' school was established 
in 1819 and the first girls' school in 1821. Parallel to these pri- 
mary schools, the community also opened technical schools, 
at first in order to prepare their pupils for apprenticeship and 
later providing direct specialized training. The first Jewish 
trades school (Ecole de Travail) opened its doors in Strasbourg 
in 1825, and was followed by that of Mulhouse in 1842, and of 
Paris in 1865. This network grew in importance until the law 
making primary education compulsory was passed in 1882, 
and the church and state were separated in 1905, thus depriv- 
ing it of state financial support. 

protection of Jewish rights. The Jewish community 
in France was shocked into action to protect Jewish rights by 
the ^Damascus Affair in 1840 and subsequently by the out- 
break of anti-Jewish disorders in 1848. The hostile attitude 
shown by the French government and also by French pub- 
lic opinion when Jews in Damascus were accused of ritual 
murder, as well as the complicity of the French consul there, 
deeply stirred French Jewry. Cremieux therefore joined Sir 
Moses *Montefiore from England in a mission to Alexandria 
to intercede with *Muhammad Ali on behalf of the Damas- 
cus Jews. In February 1848, the peasants in Sundgau in Alsace 
took advantage of the general unrest to attack the Jews, some 
of whom managed to escape to Switzerland. The incidents 
spread northward, Jewish houses were pillaged, and the army 
was called out to restore order. Both this and the Damascus 
Affair strengthened the feeling among Jews in France that in 
certain situations they could rely only on self-defense. The 
formation of the provisional government, which included 
two Jews, Michel * Goudchaux and Cremieux, dispelled some 
of these anxieties, but Jewish concern was again heightened 
with the election of Prince Louis Napoleon to the presidency 
of the republic, and later his accession to the imperial title, 
since many feared that he would restore the discriminatory 
measures introduced by his uncle. 

social and economic advances. These fears proved 
unfounded. The Second Empire was a calm period for the 
Jews of France. Instances of anti-Jewish discrimination were 
the result of the influence of the Catholic circles surrounding 
the empress rather than of a determined will to start an anti- 
semitic campaign. Jews, like other "nonbelievers," were often 
excluded from the universities. The social rise of the French 
Jews which had begun under the Restoration also continued 
under the Second Empire. In 1834 Achille *Fould became the 
first Jew to sit in the Chamber of Deputies, soon to be followed 
by Cremieux. The greatest and most rapid achievements were 
often through the civil service, candidates for which gener- 
ally had to pass tests and competitive examinations. In 1836 
Jacques *Halevy was elected a member of the Academy of Fine 
Arts. *Rachel, one of the greatest actresses of her time, never 
concealed her Jewish origin. In the commercial sphere, it was 
a period of success for the ^Rothschild family and its head, 
Baron James, as well as for the *Pereire brothers to whom the 

Rothschilds were later violently opposed. Practically every 
career, including the army, was open to Jews. 

new trends in Judaism. Events did not proceed without 
provoking the same unrest within the French community as 
had gripped German Jewry. The problem arose of maintain- 
ing Judaism in an open, modern society, and the influence of 
the ^Reform movements from across the Rhine soon made it- 
self felt. The French rabbinate was of a generally conservative 
frame of mind. Its members, who almost entirely hailed from 
the small towns of Alsace and Lorraine, were scarcely enthu- 
siastic over the new ideas and the rabbinate found itself in re- 
treat before the layman. A meeting of grand rabbins was held 
in Paris from May 13-21, 1856, to establish a common policy 
with which to confront the growing trend away from Judaism. 
The camps were clearly divided well before the meeting: the 
Alsatian communities, which were the most numerous, op- 
posed the introduction of substantive reforms, for which they 
felt no necessity. However, since each consistory was repre- 
sented by only one delegate, the majority of the representatives 
tended to opt for modifications. To prevent a breach, it was 
resolved that decisions would be taken according to a simple 
majority, but that the question of their application would be 
held in abeyance. The assembly decided to limit the number 
of piyyutim, to organize synagogue services for the blessing 
of newborn infants, to conduct the funeral service with more 
ceremonial, and to instruct rabbis and officiating ministers to 
wear a garb resembling that worn by the Catholic clergy. It was 
also resolved to make greater use of the sermon in synagogue, 
to reduce the length of services which were to be conducted 
in a more dignified manner, and to introduce the ceremony 
of religious initiation, particularly for girls, whose religious 
instruction was to be inspected and approved. The assembly 
also called for the transfer of the rabbinical seminary to Paris. 
Regarding the controversy which had arisen over the use of 
the organ in synagogue, it was decided that its use on Sabbath 
and festivals was lawful provided that it was played by a non- 
Jew. Its introduction would be subject to the authorization of 
the grand rabbin of the department concerned, at the request 
of the local rabbi. A breach in the community was therefore 
avoided at the price of compromises and half-measures. The 
different elements in French Jewry continued on good terms 
since the doctrinal independence of the local rabbi remained 
intact. Subsequently more ambitious attempts at reform were 
cut short by the Franco-German war of 1870-71. The French 
defeat cast an odium, a priori, on anything that smacked of 
German importation. As a result, French Jewry found itself 
in a state of arrested reform. Although moving away from 
Orthodoxy it remained firmly attached to the idea of an in- 
tegrated community. To this day French consistorial Judaism 
has maintained great religious diversity, a situation which 
has always curbed the few attempts to establish dissident, 
Reform or Orthodox, communities. This flexibility later en- 
abled the integration of immigrants from North Africa. The 
leading role still played in French communal affairs by the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 7 



Rothschild family also helped to give the community a large 
measure of stability. 

alliance Israelite universelle. The *Mortara case in 
1858 once again brought up the question of freedom of con- 
science and reminded French Jewry of the Damascus Affair 
and the troubles of 1848. It again demonstrated the importance 
of organizing Jewish self-defense, this time on an international 
scale. The French Jews, who had been convinced that they had 
succeeded in assimilation by reconciling fidelity to Judaism 
with the gains achieved by democracy, felt compelled to react. 
However, it was typical of the existing situation that action was 
taken outside the framework of the central consistory which 
had by then withdrawn into a religious and representational 
role. In i860, a group of young Jewish liberals founded the ^Al- 
liance Israelite Universelle with a central committee perma- 
nently based in Paris. The activities of this body were mainly 
directed to helping communities outside France and it had 
the great merit of again demonstrating that Jewish solidarity 
extended beyond modern nationalism. 

alsace-lorraine and Algeria. The 1870 war not only 
revived Franco-German hostility and put an end to many of 
the hopes for greater unity, but cut off from French Jewry its 
vital sources in Alsace and Lorraine. There was also the prob- 
lem of integrating the Alsatian Jews who had opted to stay in 
France. This immigration considerably increased the impor- 
tance of the communities in Paris and that part of Lorraine 
which had remained French. It also led to the creation of new 
consistories in Vesoul, Lille, and Besancon. The effects of the 
war also speeded up the naturalization of the Jews of ^Algeria, 
where at the time of the French conquest there were a num- 
ber of old-established communities. The French authorities 
took their existing arrangements into account but limited the 
powers of the "head of the Jewish nation" by attaching to him 
a "Hebrew council." The powers of the rabbinical courts were 
also restricted. However the Jews of Algeria officially remained 
part of the indigenous population with a personal status which 
was variously interpreted. In 1870, on the eve of the war with 
Prussia, and following numerous petitions by the Jews in Al- 
geria, the imperial government was on the point of declaring 
the collective naturalization of Algerian Jewry. 

The Government of National Defense sitting at Tours, at 
the pressing insistence of Cremieux, then minister of justice, 
proclaimed this naturalization by a decree issued on Oct. 24, 
1870. Having become French citizens, the Jews of Algeria gave 
up their personal status and were on the same footing as the 
Jews of France. The consistorial system, which had been in- 
troduced in Algeria in 1845, was modified to permit a more 
active participation of the members of the Algerian commu- 
nity in the consistorial elections. The appointment of rabbis 
and grand rabbins was made by the central consistory. 

antisemitism. Withdrawn into itself but enriched by the 
Algerian accession, the Jewish community of France soon had 
to face a formidable test. The advent of the Third Republic was 

not received by Jews with unmixed enthusiasm. Concerned at 
the progress of secularism and of movements demanding re- 
form, royalist and clerical circles in France attempted to cre- 
ate an anti-Jewish diversion. Antisemitic newspapers began 
to appear. In 1883 the Assumptionists established the daily La 
*Croix which, with other publications, set out to prove that the 
Revolution had been the work of the Jews allied with the Free- 
masons. This trend was strengthened by the socialist antisemi- 
tism of the followers of *Fourier and *Proudhon. The various 
shades of antisemitism converged in Edouard *Drumonts La 
France Juive (1886), which became a bestseller. After the col- 
lapse of the Union Generale, a leading Catholic bank, the Jews 
in France provided a convenient scapegoat. In 1889 Drumonts 
ideas culminated in the formation of the French National An- 
tisemitic League (see ^Antisemitism: Antisemitic Political Par- 
ties and Organizations). In 1891, 32 deputies demanded that 
the Jews be expelled from France. In 1892 Drumont was able, 
with Jesuit support, to found his daily La Libre Parole which 
immediately launched a defamation campaign against Jew- 
ish officers who were accused of having plotted treason and 
of trafficking in secrets of the national defense. It also blamed 
Jews for the crash of the Panama Canal Company, creating a 
scandal which greatly increased its circulation. It was in this 
climate that Captain Alfred *Dreyfus was arrested on Oct. 15, 
1894, on the charge of having spied in the interests of Germany. 
Many aspects of the affair are still unclear, although Dreyfus* 
innocence has been fully recogn